SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — This year, K-12 students may see a college student teaching their class when their teachers are absent.

A law that went into effect Jan. 1 allows college students studying education who have 90 credit hours of experience to serve as substitute teachers.

Proponents of the bill say the law not only gives future teachers a head-start to working in the field but also affects the substitute teacher shortage nearly every district in the state is facing.

“We know that with what students are learning in college, having that opportunity to bring some real-life classroom experience to the table is good,” Alan Mather, Golden Apple Foundation President said.

Some people think the law may also help school administration fill permanent roles.

“The administrators now get to see people who are coming in who might maybe they wouldn’t normally get to see,” Mather said. “And they can start looking at future teachers who are going to be offered jobs perhaps before they graduate from college.”

Another law expands the number of days substitutes can teach in a row from five to 15. Another law lowered the minimum age of school paraprofessionals from 19 to 18.