Gov. Rauner signs bill about teacher hiring process in Carbondale

Gov. Rauner signs bill about teacher hiring process in Carbondale
Published: Jan. 6, 2017 at 10:11 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2017 at 6:51 PM CST
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Governor Rauner spent Friday morning at Carbondale Community High School to sign a bill that aims to make it easier on to transfer out-of-state teacher's license to Illinois.

Senate Bill 2912, co-sponsored by Ill. State Senator Dave Luechtefeld, streamlines the process to transfer an out-of-state license to Illinois.

The measure also reduces the fee to obtain a substitute teaching license and makes it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom as a substitute.

According to Luechtefeld, there is a teacher shortage in the state, especially in under-served areas.

"There was a time when we had plenty of teachers, but that has evaporated in a hurry,"Luechtefeld said.

Rauner described the bill before signing it at the high school.

"It would make it easier for them to come here and pursue their profession, get the red tape and the regulatory burden out of the way so they can do their jobs and also make it easier for highly-skilled teachers who maybe retried or unable to teach full-time but want to substitute teach make it easier for them to do that," Governor Rauner said.

"So they can substitute teach and we need more good, quality, substitute teachers and we've created barriers to them and now we need to break those barriers down."

Lawmakers are calling it a common sense law.

Matt Donkin, Illinois Regional Superintendent, speaks up for his districts he represents, "We still want to invest in high quality people in front of our students, but lets be reasonable and not set the standard so high that nobody is able to fill these positions."

As a regional superintendent, he oversees 22 school districts in his region and make sure policies like the bill are carried out. His office does the background checks for the substitutes teachers. According to him, they keep a master list so someone could substitute for a classroom in any district in his region.  You can't share background checks district-to-district. Donkin's office is the "clearinghouse" pr overseer for all the counties.. You need a one physical, one background check along wit hone  registration fee that has dropped to $50 from $100. In addition, if you have a degree, now you can sub without taking a basic skills test as before.

State Representative Terri Bryant said, "By reducing certificate fees, allowing individuals with four-year degrees to apply for substitute teacher certificates, and cutting red tape for out-of-state applicants, SB 2912 helps expand the pool of potential substitute teachers for schools statewide."

Governor Rauner entertained additional questions in regards to the bill and overall plan for that state budget. "I'm pushing everyday to get a balanced budget with more resources for education.  For me, education is the number one priority, nothing should come ahead of education -- funding our teachers, our schools...all elements of our schools -- special education, transportation, nothing is more important in my personal opinion," he said.

The governor says, in regards to education, they will work to get done what needs to be done.

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