Bertino-Tarrant passes bills to tackle statewide teacher shortage

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, got a series of bills passed last week to help address the shortage of teachers across Illinois.

She passed H.B. 423, with bipartisan support, which places a hold on requiring educators to take a controversial licensing exam, according to a news release.

"This costly test may be ineffective in determining whether an applicant is qualified to teach in our classrooms," Bertino-Tarrant said. "We need to take some time to evaluate this requirement to ensure we are not deterring qualified teachers from joining the profession."

The bill eliminates the basic skills exam until July 1, 2025, during which time the Illinois State Board of Education is required to reevaluate the methods it uses to score a prospective teacher’s knowledge and preparedness and adopt rules for any changes.

Another piece of legislation aims to address findings that 89% of central Illinois districts and 92% of southern Illinois districts have issues with staffing teaching positions with qualified candidates. Some districts are turning to substitute teachers while looking for permanent ones.

Bertino-Tarrant’s legislation, H.B. 1472, would allow retired teachers to return to teach where there are shortages without impairing their status.

Another bill, H.B. 2605, would make it easier for speech pathologists to practice in Illinois schools by eliminating a redundant state certification requirement. Bertino-Tarrant said schools across the nation are struggling to find speech pathologists.

26-Delivered,01-All No Sub,02-Pol,24-ILGA,AllSN

City: Joliet,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs,Opinion

via The Herald-News

May 20, 2019 at 01:29PM

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