mlc 021622SPRINGFIELD – Legislation spearheaded by State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) to waive application fees for short-term substitute teaching licenses cleared the Senate Wednesday.

“As a parent and former teacher, I believe we have an obligation to ensure our children have access to a high-quality education,” Loughran Cappel said. “A student’s education should not stop when their teacher is sick or unable to be in the classroom, which is why we need to simplify the process for qualified individuals to substitute teach.”

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, there are more than 4,000 unfilled positions in schools. In an attempt to address the void, Loughran Cappel’s plan would waive the application fee for short-term substitute teaching licensees when the governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency.

The current application fee is $25 for short-term substitute teaching licenses. The licensee may apply for a refund of the application fee within 18 months of issuance of the new license. Short-term substitute teacher licensees will also be issued the refund by ISBE if they taught at least ten full school days within one year of issuance.

“Teachers deserve to have the peace of mind that their class will be left in good hands when they take time off,” Loughran Cappel said. “This vote today is a declaration to our teachers that we hear them and we are working toward overcoming these shortages.”

Senate Bill 3915 awaits consideration from the House.