ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – As part of the larger effort to eliminate the teacher shortage in Illinois, State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is encouraging local high schools to apply for the CTE Education Career Pathway Grants, which prepares students for a career in education. “There is an urgent need to address the teacher shortage in Illinois, and one thing is fundamentally clear — we must do more to invest in our future educators. These grants provide aspiring teachers with the financial backing they need to pursue their passion for teaching,” said Manley. “By alleviating some of these financial barriers that many educators face, we’re opening the door for more future educators to become changemakers and strengthen the schools in our communities.” According to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), there are over 4,000 unfilled teacher positions across the state. To reduce this number, ISBE has allocated $4.3 million in funding to the CTE Education Career Pathway Grant program. The grant provides funding to school districts to provide students with a head start for a career in education, offering tailored coursework, field experiences, and work based learning opportunities.

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Over the past few years, Manley has worked to attract more educators to Illinois. In 2019, she supported legislation raising the minimum wage for teachers, resulting in a $40,000 minimum wage this school year. Manley also backed legislation allowing enrolled teaching students to obtain a substitute license, making it easier for them to gain real-world experience. In part due to these measures, ISBE has reported more new teachers entering the classroom over the past few years. “The current teacher crisis is unacceptable, and the consequences of inaction are obvious — crowded classrooms, overworked teachers, and compromised learning. We owe it to our students to provide them with the best possible education, which starts with addressing the teacher shortage head-on,” said Manley. “I highly encourage our pool of future educators to take advantage of these grants to inspire change in our schools.”

Rep. Natalie ManleyRep. Natalie Manley


Assistant Majority Leader

98th District

Springfield Office:
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3316

District Office:
1050 W. Romeo Rd.
Suite 101
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 725-2741