Text Size
Login
config

State senators urge ISBE to accelerate its teacher shortage study

manar teacher 111517SPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

 In a Nov. 14 letter addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Kimberly A. Lightford and Andy Manar ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.

 The shortage has caused more than 2,000 current teaching positions to go unfilled statewide.

 “We commend you for the effort made thus far by the State Board to address teacher shortages and for further prioritizing the issue by initiating a year of inquiry on the subject,” the letter reads. “However, this is a crisis that deserves even more urgent attention and swift action to provide crucial support to students, administrators, and teachers.”

isbe letter 111417Bertino-Tarrant, a Shorewood Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, said solving the problem requires everyone to pull together.

 “The State Board of Education is doing the right thing by trying to find out what has gone wrong and what we need to do to get qualified teachers into classrooms more efficiently,” she said. “The sooner they can convey that information to the General Assembly, the sooner we can do our part to help correct this problem.”

According to a recent teacher shortage survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 60 percent of school districts reported trouble filling teaching positions and 75 percent had seen fewer qualified candidates than in previous years.

“This is a statewide issue that hurts the quality of education our children are receiving,” said Lightford (D-Maywood), assistant majority leader of the Senate and vice chairwoman of the Education Committee. “We need to move rapidly to find legislative solutions that attract and retain skilled teachers, and that starts with the study being conducted by the Board of Education.”

During a hearing of the Education Committee in Decatur Nov. 6, lawmakers were told that teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties and other issues.

Manar said schools in the 48th Senate District are among those most affected by the teacher shortage.

 

“We have schools all over central and southern Illinois relying on retired teachers and permanent substitutes to fill the void of qualified, professional teachers. And when no one answers that call, classrooms go dark. This is no way to educate children,” said Manar (D-Bunker Hill), a member of the Education Committee and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“It is essential that lawmakers and ISBE work together quickly to identify the red tape that can be cut to help get good teachers into good jobs teaching great kids in Illinois schools.”

Sign up for The Majority Report HERE

News Releases

IMAGE Hutchinson announces funds for Kankakee River State Park
Friday, 12 October 2018
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) announced the release of a $1.8 million grant to help reopen the Kankakee River...

Read More...
IMAGE Castro announces funding boost for Education and Work Center
Friday, 05 October 2018
HANOVER PARK – Local residents will soon have access to additional resources through the Education and Work Center thanks to added state funding,...

Read More...
IMAGE Clayborne named keynote speaker at Uganda National Prayer Breakfast
Friday, 05 October 2018
BELLEVILLE – Sen. James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville) will be the keynote speaker at the Uganda National Prayer Breakfast on Oct. 8....

Read More...
IMAGE Sims echoes McDonald family’s request for peace
Thursday, 04 October 2018
CHICAGO—Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement ahead of the verdict in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason...

Read More...
IMAGE Hastings announces more than $50,000 in grants for local libraries
Monday, 01 October 2018
TINLEY PARK – State Senator Michael E. Hastings is pleased to announce that community libraries will receive more than $50,000 in grants to fund...

Read More...

Follow ILSenDems

Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube