Belt teacher shortage 051023SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt advanced a measure out of the Senate Wednesday that would help address the ongoing teacher shortage in Illinois.

“The entire state is having issues with recruiting and retaining quality teachers in schools,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “It’s apparent that we need to be investing more in our educators, as they have a significant impact on our children.”

House Bill 3801 would provide retention bonuses of $4,000 per year, for two consecutive years to teachers who are National Board Certified and are employed in hard-to-staff schools. A hard-to-staff school is a public school that no less than 30% of the student enrollment is considered low-income. Becoming a National Board Certified teacher is a career continuum for those who start in pre-service teacher preparation, leading aspiring teachers to pursue and achieve National Board Certification.

This measure aims to provide an incentive for teachers to work in underserved areas, as these are the areas that are most affected by the current teacher shortage.

“Without enough well-equipped teachers in our classrooms, we cannot provide children with the education they deserve,” said Belt. “It’s not just a numbers problem, but a moral imperative to ensure they have access to education that will guide their futures.”

House Bill 3801 passed the Senate.