New law aimed at addressing Illinois teacher shortage

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation he says will remove a barrier for teacher candidates and help address a statewide shortage of teachers.

The new law eliminates a requirement that teacher candidates pass a test of basic skills to get an educator license.

Supporters say the test was unnecessary because admission to a teacher preparation program already demonstrates that candidates have basic academic skills. It also required candidates to demonstrate skills that weren’t related to the grade or subject they intended to teach. The test cost more than $60.

The Illinois State Board of Education says there were more than 1,400 unfilled classroom positions at the start of the last school year. The new law means about 1,300 teaching candidates will be able to start student teaching this fall.

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