Senator Loughran Cappel


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) championed two new laws to help address the ongoing statewide teacher shortage.

“Illinois, like everywhere else in the country, is facing challenges with recruiting and retaining teachers,” said Loughran Cappel, who attened the bill signing ceremony at Springfield High School in Springfield. “It was a struggle even before the pandemic hit, but now, finding someone to sub in when a teacher is out sick is even harder for Illinois schools.”

According to a survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 90% of Illinois schools are currently experiencing staffing shortages. Loughran Cappel’s law, originally House Bill 4246, will reduce the renewal fees for substitute teachers’ licenses to $50 instead of $500.

“This is not going to be a short-term issue,” Loughran Cappel said. “School districts across the state are facing teacher shortages, and by reducing the renewal fees for substitutes, there will be an increase in the pool of qualified substitute teachers.”

Additioanlly, Loughran Cappel spearheaded another law, originally House Bill 4798, to expand the pool of substitute teachers.

The new law allows currently-enrolled Illinois students in the field of education who have at least 90 credit hours to obtain a substitute teaching license. By giving them creditable hours for this on-the-job training, more students will be able to substitute teach, and schools will have additional resources for finding temporary, short-term teachers.

“Not only does this plan give college students the chance to gain some professional experience, it relieves some pressure as we work toward more permanent solutions to address the teacher shortage,” Loughran Cappel said. “I am thrilled we are providing some relief to educators across our state and I will continue fighting for our teachers and students.”

The laws were signed Wednesday.