D11062017RT0026bRSECATUR- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), Chairwoman of the Senate’s Committee on Education, held a hearing in Decatur to discuss the state’s difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers.

The committee heard from a series of teachers, advocates and the Illinois State Board of Education who reiterated the importance of overhauling the teacher’s licensure process in Illinois to help attract new teachers and provide a better support system to give teachers the tools to succeed.  
“There are committed and dedicated educators in our community,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It’s our duty to ensure we help quality individuals, who want to be in the classroom, be successful.”

According to a teacher shortage survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools during the 2015-2016 schoolyear, 60 percent of school districts reported trouble filling teaching positions.

Of those that responded to the survey, 75 percent had seen fewer qualified candidates than in previous years, especially in rural districts and those in central and northwest Illinois. Sixteen percent of schools had canceled programs or classes because of the lack of teachers – mostly special education, language arts, math and science classes.

Bertino-Tarrant looks forward to working with her colleagues this legislative session to revamp and streamline the teacher’s licensure system to help alleviate the teacher’s shortage in Illinois.

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