Application fees may soon be waived for short-term substitute teaching licenses under a plan by State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) that advanced out of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.
“Staffing is one of the most important, if not the most important, challenges that our schools are facing during this awful pandemic,” said Senate Education Committee Vice-Chair Loughran Cappel. “We have a responsibility to do all we can to ensure our students have access to teachers, and it’s my goal to get them there.”
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, there are more than 4,000 unfilled positions in schools. In an attempt to address the void, Loughran Cappel’s plan would waive the application fee for short-term substitute teaching licensees when the governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency.
The current application fee is $25 for short-term substitute teaching licenses. The licensee may apply for a refund of the application fee within 18 months of issuance of the new license. Short-term substitute teacher licensees will also be issued the refund by ISBE if they taught at least ten full school days within one year of issuance.
“We need teachers in classrooms,” said Loughran Cappel. “This has been a huge burden on our school districts, and this legislation will help get qualified individuals back in schools to educate our children.”
Senate Bill 3915 is now scheduled to be considered before the entire Senate.