SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Public school officials are getting some help in recruiting teachers, thanks to legislation passed by State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) and signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker last Friday.
“The COVID pandemic and related school closures have made it much harder for students and have left many of them in need of additional instruction during the summer,” said Senator McClure. “This legislation makes sure that schools are able to staff those extremely important summer programs.”
According to officials, paying teachers to staff summer school programs often results in pay increase. Because the state’s teacher pension system has a cap on how much teacher’s salaries can increase near retirement, schools may not be able to use the near-retirement teachers for the summer.
Officials said Senate Bill 1646 removes the pension cap for summer schools that happen between May 1 and September 15. It also allows public schools to hire teachers with private school experience. The application deadline for this program is June 30, 2023.
“The COVID pandemic worsened what was already a growing statewide teacher shortage,” said McClure. “This legislation isn’t the final answer, but it will provide one more tool to help schools find and hire qualified teachers.”