Legislation championed by State Rep. Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) that will help ease Illinois’ teacher shortage has been signed into law. HB 5627 (now Public Act 100-0596), for which Reick served as Chief Co-Sponsor, removes red tape that is keeping well-trained educators out of Illinois classrooms.
“This is common sense legislation that ensures that quality teachers are in Illinois classrooms,” said Reick. “My office was working with a retired teacher from Woodstock who was named one of the top ten educators in the state during his tenure. This individual found the process to become a substitute teacher to be tedious and extremely expensive. I was pleased to help pass legislation that addressed this and other issues that have made it difficult for schools to find and retain an excellent workforce.”
According to Reick, the new law provides for the following:
- Full reciprocity of out-of-state applicants for an Illinois Professional Educator License, which would allow out-of-state licensed educators to teach in Illinois without meeting additional requirements
- Makes numerous changes to the Substitute Teaching License law to ease the process for out-of-state licensed teachers and retired teachers with lapsed licenses to work as substitute teachers
- Eases requirements for the timing of completion of professional development
- Retired educators could work in school districts through June 30, 2020 a total of 120 paid days or 600 paid hours each school year without infringing on earned pension benefits
- A short-term substitute teaching license would be established for individuals who hold an associate’s degree or have earned at least 60 hours toward a degree from an accredited institution of higher education
“These are excellent changes that should ease the process for those who would like to teach in Illinois schools,” said Reick. “The standards remain high for the caliber of individual we would entrust to our public school classrooms, but much of the red tape and expense is removed.”
The provisions of the new law took effect on July 1.