Elik provision extends sunset, keeps teachers in classroom

House Bill 4662, sponsored by State Representative Amy Elik, unanimously passed the House on April 18. The bill extends the sunset of an existing program that allows retired educators to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without negatively impacting their pension or benefits. It was one of several efforts put in place to combat a growing teacher shortage in Illinois. The current program is slated to end on June 30, 2024. If the program is permitted to sunset, retired educators who had returned to the classroom to help with the shortage will have to leave their positions or risk negative pension consequences.

According to a recent survey from the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, more than 90% of Illinois schools reported having a "serious" or "very serious" teacher shortage problem. Additionally,  93% of school leaders said they are having a hard time filling substitute teacher positions, and 88% have fewer than five applications for teaching positions, with some receiving none at all. Moreover, a total of 73% of school leaders reported no more than half of their teacher candidates have the proper credentials for the positions they are seeking

Elik's provision will keep desperately needed qualified teachers in classrooms. 

“This important bill will help school districts address teacher shortage issues that are currently happening in the industry,” Elik said. “I am thankful to my colleagues for recognizing the need for extending this deadline and for unanimously approving this measure.”

Under HB 4662, the sunset would be extended to June 30, 2029. The bill now moves on to the Senate for further consideration.


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Over 90% of Illinois school leaders report teacher shortage, survey says