Senate overrides veto of measure to address shortage of substitutes

SubstituteTEacherSPRINGFIELD – Active substitute teachers will be able to seek a refund of the $50 fee they’re required to pay when they apply for a state license under a new law sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

“This is an example of what we can do to ease up on the government bureaucracy that’s got a stranglehold on the teaching profession in Illinois,” said Manar, a member of the Senate Education Committee.

“We have empty classrooms because of a statewide teacher shortage, a rapidly shrinking pool of substitutes and students who are suffering as a result. Curbing fees and eliminating unnecessary red tape will help address some of these problems.”

The Senate Wednesday voted 53-0 to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 3298. The measure authorizes a refund of the licensure application fee for substitutes as long as they can offer evidence of teaching at least 10 full school days within a year of being licensed.

The House overrode the governor’s veto 110-0 in October. The law goes into effect immediately.

School districts statewide are experiencing difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified full-time and substitute teachers.

During a hearing of the Senate Education Committee in Decatur Monday, lawmakers were told that teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues. The teacher shortage disproportionately affects districts in central Illinois and rural parts of the state.

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