IASB Legislative Report 102-28

Delivered via email: January 21, 2022

Illinois House Moves Teacher Shortage Bills Out of Committee

On January 19, the Illinois House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter Schools Committee discussed several bills that are aimed at addressing the staffing crisis in Illinois schools. Two bills, HB 4139 (Scherer, D-Decatur) which requires the Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to administer a teacher student loan reimbursement program for up to 8 semesters of tuition, and HB 4246 (Scherer) which lowers the lapsed educator license renewal fee from $500 to $50 to remove the financial burden for those seeking re-licensure both passed out of committee. A more controversial bill, HB 4241 (Scherer) which eliminates use of edTPA assessment for teachers seeking licensure failed in committee.

The sponsor discussed plans to bring an amendment and attempt to move the bill again. EdTPA has been a widely debated assessment for several years with some making the case that it is a major factor in teacher shortage and others arguing it has a negligible impact on teacher availability and is a useful tool for determining teacher preparation. The three bills presented in the committee are just a fraction of the total number of bills that have been introduced to address the ongoing teacher shortage crisis.

Bills out of Committees Week of January 17

HB 4173 (Zalewski, D-Riverside) creates a process to appoint local school board members to serve on the Lyons Township Trustee of Schools board to provide more local input.

HB 4215 (West, II, D-Rockford) requires all employers to provide 26 weeks of bereavement leave for the suicide death of an employee’s child and disallows access to the leave for employees in the highest paid 10% of employees.

HB 4292 (Morgan, D-Highwood) extends the teacher pension buy-out option to 2026 and provides the appropriation to fund the program.

Bills in Committees Week of January 24

House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies, Virtual Room 4, January 26, 9:00 a.m.

HB 4203 (West, D-Rockford) requires a school district to develop and implement a plan to provide additional instructional services, or special accommodations to students who suffer from trauma related to experiencing the death of a family member by suicide or homicide.

HB 4350 (Vella, D- Loves Park) removes the provisions that require the vocational or technical education course to contain at least 50% of the content of the required course or graduation requirement for which it is substituted and a pupil's parent or guardian to request and approve the substitution.

House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter Schools, Virtual Room 1, January 26, 2:00 p.m.

HB 4256 (McCombie, R-Sterling) allows a school district to waive, for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years only, the evaluation requirement of any teacher whose performance was rated as either "excellent" or “proficient".

Advocacy Fridays

IASB has developed a new tool to help school board members strengthen their legislative work to support school district success. Join members of the Governmental Relations team and special guest speakers on the last Friday of each month for “IASB Advocacy Fridays.”

Volunteer school board members serve as an essential local resource on educational issues. Board members can influence and inform constituents and other elected officials of successes, needs, and issues facing the local school district.

IASB Advocacy Fridays provide access to special briefings and exclusive information presented by the IASB Governmental Relations staff and guest speakers to help school leaders advocate for public schools at home, in Springfield, and Washington, D.C. On the last Friday of each month school officials will be provided with timely and practical advocacy strategies. Use your voice to further your district’s advocacy efforts by joining IASB Advocacy Fridays.

Register for the January 28 Advocacy Friday