New law signed in response to Illinois’ teacher shortage

In response to the state’s ongoing teacher shortage, House Bill 5627 was recently signed into law seeking to help draw educators to Illinois, retain existing teachers and assist former teachers interested in returning to the classroom. Proponents say the new law offers common-sense changes to help ease Illinois’ growing teacher shortage as legislators explore long-term solutions to the growing crisis. 

In order to make it easier for educators from other states to work in Illinois, the new bipartisan law will make the licensure and regulatory process less prohibitive for qualified teachers in order to help schools attract high-quality educators. House Bill 5627 provides full reciprocity for out-of-state applicants seeking a Professional Educator License (PEL). 

The measure also ensures that a teacher with a PEL or an Educator License with Stipulations (ELS) will not need an additional Substitute Teacher License to work as a substitute teacher, and Short-Term Substitute Teaching Licenses will be offered to qualifying applicants with an associate’s degree of 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning. 

Former teachers with a lapsed PEL due to incomplete professional development requirements will still be allowed to teach as a substitute under House Bill 5627, to attract former teachers who may not currently be teaching but are interested in getting back into the classroom. In addition, for five years, retired teachers will be able to return to the classroom for 120 days or 600 hours per school year without affecting their retirement status.

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