Like most states, Illinois is struggling with a severe teacher shortage. And, also like most states, that shortage is felt most profoundly in the area of special education. There is, however, an army of teacher assistants already on the job. Could they help relieve this shortage?
“Incredibly amazing,” “brilliant” and “very gifted” are just a few ways an Illinois Wesleyan University professor described her three students who recently won a $5,000 grant to start up their business.
Ten days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public sector employees who choose not to join unions no longer have to pay reduced fees to cover collective bargaining. And already, a crusade to persuade teachers to drop union membership has hit Illinois.
In the Farrington school district, near Mount Vernon, a new teacher makes less than $29,000—even with a master’s degree. Farrington is one of the lowest-paying districts, but state officials say some 7,000 teachers statewide makes less than $40,000.