Lawmakers Pass Legislation to Address Teacher Shortage

As Illinois schools navigate the ongoing teacher shortage, legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) cleared the House on Tuesday to address the teacher shortage by offering substitute teachers the option to teach more school days.

According to a survey of school districts released in January 2022 by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS), “93 percent of districts expect the teacher shortage will worsen over the 2023 and 2024 academic years.”

“Illinois is still suffering from a massive teacher shortage, thankfully we have retired and certified educators that want to help,” said Rep. Caulkins. “This legislation will provide educators the opportunity to work more days in the classroom. It’s a great bill I am proud to sponsor. I look forward to the bill being implemented pending the governor’s signature.”

Currently, no substitute teacher may teach for longer than 90 school days for any one licensed teacher under contract in the same school year. Senate Bill 3893 (SB 3893) co-sponsored by Rep. Caulkins provides a substitute teacher may teach up to 120 school days beginning with the 2021-2022 school year through the 2022-2023 school year.

SB 3893 passed the House and Senate unanimously and now awaits consideration by Governor Pritzker upon becoming law.