CHICAGO – As the state’s education system struggles from a chronic shortage of substitute teachers, state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, is highlighting the end of costly fees that have driven down the number of substitute teacher applications in the past.
“The substitute teacher shortage is directly affecting our kids’ education and pushes our current teaching workforce to the brink,” D’Amico said. “Eliminating these fees is going to make it easier for good people to become substitute teachers.”
School districts across the state are finding it harder to attract and retain substitute teachers. As a result, Illinois schools cannot fill roughly 18 percent of teacher absences, according to a recent survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. The D’Amico–supported House Bill 3298, now effective, makes it free to apply to become a substitute teacher by waiving the fee for license renewals for applicants who taught at least 10 full school days during the previous school year and providing a full rebate to cover the fee for new applicants.
“Substitute teachers are incredibly important positions not going filled year after year,” D’Amico continued. “Eliminating these burdensome fees will make it easier for our schools to hire qualified people to teach our kids.”