Senate approves plan to address teacher shortage


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Senate approved a plan to address the teacher and substitute shortage that is causing issues in schools across downstate Illinois and in rural areas. 

The Senate approved the measure Tuesday.

House Bill 5627 encourages educators outside of Illinois to apply for hard-to-fill jobs, creates a short-term substitute teaching license and allows downstate retired teachers to substitute in classrooms without jeopardizing retirement benefits.

The Senate also approved another measure allowing substitute teachers to provide evidence of physical fitness to districts so they do not have to pay for the cost of an exam.

Applicants would still need to show they are free from communicable diseases.

The goal is to reduce costs for prospective substitute teachers so more can get into the system and help under-staffed schools.

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