State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, is supporting legislation intended to aid a new generation of teaching students and address the shortage of teachers across the state.
The former educator, who also chairs the Senate Education Committee and previously served as the Will County Regional Superintendent of Schools, is the lead co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1952, which removes redundant testing, permits K-12 student teachers and early childhood student teachers to receive compensation and allows early childhood student teachers to be paid and receive credit, according to a news release.
“We need to equip our school districts with the tools to recruit the best and brightest to train them,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “To attract that kind of talent, the Senate has recently passed several commonsense reforms that cut red tape, streamline the licensure process and give educators a higher wage.”
The Senate also passed S.B. 1809, which helps students enter the teaching field by expanding the eligibility of MAP grant recipients to include students who have already received bachelor degrees or have
135 credit hours, if they are working toward earning their teaching certificate through an educator preparation program.
This measure requires recipients to stay in Illinois for three of the next five years.
“Teachers are concerned about graduating college with unmanageable student loan debt,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Raising the starting salaries for our educators while promoting need-based grant assistance for those pursuing a teaching degree in the state will help encourage more students to pursue the profession while remaining here in Illinois.”
The two bills passed in the Senate took into account input from educators and administrators throughout the state.