CHICAGO – In light of the teacher shortage crisis facing Illinois, state Rep. Aaron Ortiz D-Chicago, is backing legislation that would make it easier for prospective teachers to be licensed by removing unnecessary barriers they face during the licensing process.
“My time as a CPS counselor revealed to me the urgent need for talented and dedicated teachers,” Ortiz said. “This legislation will improve the current licensing system and make the field more appealing for current and future educators.”
Ortiz is backing House Bill 2932, which will simplify the licensing process by ensuring that individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, are not required to take a ‘basic skills exam’ when applying for a Professional Educator License (PEL) or an Educator License with Stipulations. The Ortiz-backed measure aims to address the teacher shortage facing Illinois by removing unnecessary barriers that make it more difficult and timely to get licensed. According to a recent report by the Illinois School Board of Educators (ISBE), the number of Illinois teachers dropped by 3.4 percent in 2018.
“By simplifying the teacher licensing process we are bringing qualified teachers to our schools, which will help address classroom overcrowding and other factors that negatively affect our children’s education,” Ortiz added. “I’m committed to continuing supporting initiatives that address the issues facing our local schools.”