Too few solutions for teacher shortage

ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- The State Board of Education says every district is at some type of risk when dealing with teacher shortages.

Monday, lawmakers held a hearing, in Decatur, to discuss what can be done to fix it. The biggest problem is some districts don't have anyone applying for positions anymore.

Some are lucky to even get two applications for a job. Some teachers say the rising cost of tuition and the lengthy requirements to become a teacher is no longer worth it, so they pursue other careers.

Teachers, superintendents and ISBE officials told lawmakers the shortage could be addressed by lowering scores for the basic skills test, making it easier for out-of-state teachers to transfer and possibly even a universal teaching license.

Another factor preventing many from entering the field is pay. Lawmakers also discussed if an out-of-state teacher wants to work here and has 10 - 15 years experience, the basic skills test could possibly be waived.

Even those who have taught for 30-years and want to become a principal have a hard time because basic skills tests weren't previously required, but are now, so some fail.

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools conducted a survey last year and found 75% of districts saw fewer qualified candidates than previous years.

Also, 16% of schools canceled programs or classes because of a lack of teachers. The most needed positions are in special education and PE.


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