Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Survey: State schools struggling to find substitute teachers

BELLEVILLE — Many school districts across Illinois are experiencing substitute teacher shortages, a survey shows.

The survey of more than 500 superintendents was conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. Superintendents in southern Illinois described their shortage as more severe than most in other areas of the state.

Some school officials have been recruiting substitute teachers by posting on social media, attending job fairs and asking parents for help. Several others have been offering substitute teachers more money.

Illinois accepts applications for substitute teaching licenses from people who have bachelor’s degrees in any subject area. The application costs about $160 to $175 for the application, registration and other costs, including a background check. Most of the cost comes from the state’s licensing fees and can be reimbursed after 10 days on the job.

The refunds are a new effort by the state to address the substitute teacher shortage.

But the association suggests that further policy changes are needed at the state level to help schools recruit more substitute teachers, The Belleville News-Democrat reported.

The association recommends amending the Teachers’ Retirement System. Retired teachers are limited in how often they can work and still receive pension payments. They are only allowed to work 100 days or 500 hours in a school year.

The association said increasing the number of days and hours that retirees can work would “significantly” relieve pressure on schools.

–Associated Press

Read the complete IARSS survey results:

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