SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – During his second week in office, state Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville, is taking the lead with legislation which would promote agricultural teacher education programs in Illinois.
“As a lifelong Southern Illinoisan, I understand firsthand the value that agriculture brings to every corner of our state,” Reitz said. “To encourage more participation and involvement in agriculture and to those who teach it, I’m moving forward with a bill to award grants for educational teacher internship programs so that we can encourage more students to go into the area of agricultural education.”
Reitz’s Senate Bill 1498 would require the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to work in consultation with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to create the Agricultural Education Pre-Service Teacher Internship Program. The legislation also states that ISBE would be tasked with awarding grants to pre-service teaching students who are involved in the internship program to cover costs associated with the program.
“The goal of my first bill is to expand access to agricultural education by investing in those with an interest in teaching it,” Reitz said. “I am committed to working with the education advocates, the agriculture community, as well as other stakeholders that share southern Illinois’ most core values.”