SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A bill introduced by State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, to help encourage more people to become substitute teachers passed the Illinois House of Representatives.
“Illinois school districts are having problems finding enough substitute teachers because of the cost and all the hoops the state requires you to jump through,” Scherer said. “There are clearly young qualified teachers looking at current requirements and are being dissuaded to pursue the profession.”
With this bill, anyone wishing to become a substitute teacher must provide proof of physical fitness in the form of a physical examination. This is done at the expense of the applicant. House Bill 4706 gives more power to local school districts. Districts decide if new substitute teachers should be required to provide evidence of physical fitness. Lowering costs to become a substitute teacher will attract more qualified applicants to help fill the shortage of substitute teachers in many school districts. The bill passed the House last week with bipartisan support.
“Our children deserve the best education possible.” Scherer said. “But that cannot happen with the current teacher shortage. This bill will help young, up and coming teachers cover the costs of starting their career without sacrificing a quality educational experience for our students”
Scherer represents the 96th District, which includes portions of Christian, Macon and Sangamon counties.