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Legislation pending in the Senate to ease rural teacher shortage

In response to a teacher shortage impacting school districts in many of Illinois’ rural communities, legislation pending in the Senate would help these rural school districts struggling to attract good teachers choose from a much larger pool of applicants.

Acknowledging that a mastery of standardized testing doesn’t necessarily translate into good teachers in Illinois classrooms, Senate Bill 1123 would add an additional avenue for students to receive their teaching license—by achieving a minimum grade point average of 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale in the core education curriculum classes at the universities they attend.

Currently, students seeking a career in teaching must score at least 22 on their ACT test or 1110 on their SAT test, or pass the Academic Proficiency (TAP)/Basic Skills test in order to receive their teaching licenses.

A 2016 report from Teachers of Tomorrow found Illinois’ schools have some of the highest levels of unfilled teaching positions in the nation, to the tune of 6,381.

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