Pacione Zayas 2022 Committee


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) is spearheading two measures to give high school students more options for careers following graduation. Both measures passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

“Students have big life decisions to make after high school, whether they choose to further their education or enter a career field,” Pacione-Zayas said. “It’s important that they know what opportunities are available to them as early as possible to give them a plan of action before the school year ends.”

Senate Bill 3990 will require school counseling services to include Career and Technical Education to help students determine any secondary education plans following high school. Counseling students on CTE will better allow some students to find educational and career opportunities that better fit their goals and skills. This is more important than ever as provisions regarding workforce development of the Clean and Equitable Jobs Act begin to go into effect and the state begins to move toward a clean energy economy.

In addition to expanding student counseling on CTE, Pacione-Zayas has introduced a measure, SB 3988, to lower the age requirement for educator paraprofessionals from 19 to 18 for paraprofessionals who work in pre-K to eighth grade classrooms.

“Not only will this measure give new graduates interested in careers in education an opportunity to do so even quicker, it will also help address the need for teachers and teacher assistants,” Pacione-Zayas said. “The ongoing teacher shortage is hurting students, especially those who might need individualized support, so allowing more interested candidates to apply is more important than ever.”

SB 3990 and SB 3988 passed the Senate Education Committee and head to the full Senate for additional consideration.