Teacher Shortage | WGLT

Teacher Shortage

Students at one-room schoolhouse
Unit 5 / Facebook

Illinois has a teacher shortage, and policymakers are trying some big ideas to fix it. That includes raising the minimum teacher salary and getting rid of the Basic Skills Test requirement.

The legislative session that wrapped up a few days ago was dominated by debates over weighty topics like preserving abortion rights, legalizing recreational cannabis sales, and changing the income tax structure of the state.

But out of the spotlight, some comparatively smaller changes were considered for the public education system.

Bloomington High School teacher signing day
Eric Stock / WGLT

Bloomington High School is looking to address the national teacher shortage by helping to groom new educators before they head off to college.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a variety of bills that would change the requirements to earn a teaching certificate.

 

Right now, to become a licensed teacher in Illinois, you have to pass at least three tests.

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

District 87 is forging ahead with its school calendar and plans to implement alternative learning days, despite possible changes from impending state legislation.

mark Jontry at a mic
Staff / WGLT

The state needs to rethink professional development for teachers and make it even easier to become a sub if it wants to reverse a worsening educator shortage, according to a new report.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Unit 5 has approved higher pay rates for its substitute teachers.

What test should school teachers have to pass to earn a license in Illinois? The Illinois State Board of Education takes up that question at their meeting Wednesday.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said it was eye-opening to see how bad Illinois' teacher shortage is and could become.

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?

Breanna Grow / WGLT

After hearing substitute teachers’ concerns, Unit 5 officials want them to join the conversation.

Josh Kaufmann
Josh Kaufmann

A group that trains teachers to be policy advocates is pushing Springfield for ways to encourage more minorities to enter the profession.

Bruce Rauner at a podium
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Gov. Bruce Rauner has a vetoed bill that would have given public school teachers an annual minimum salary of $40,000 over the next five years.

Teacher speaks to school board
Mary Cullen / WGLT

A veteran Unit 5 substitute teacher said the district doesn’t pay in a timely manner, let alone enough for the job.

Children getting onto a school bus
Staff / WGLT

Editor's note: This is Part 4 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

DJJOHN / FLICKR VIA CREATIVE COMMONS

Editor's note: This is Part 3 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools. You can also read Part 1 and Part 2.

Brandan Oates
Brandan Oates

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools. Part 1 was about teachers who left the profession.

Derek sits in his office at Fell Hall
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of GLT’s Skipping School, a special series about the teacher shortage facing Illinois schools.

Mark Jontry
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Many Central Illinois school districts are struggling to fill an unprecedented number of teaching vacancies just weeks before the school year begins.

Teacher in front of high school sign
Illinios Newsroom

Chuck Bleyer is worried the southern Illinois school district he heads won’t be able to fill an open teacher position by the time classes start this fall.