Governor Signs Olsen Bill that Addresses Teacher Shortage

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation sponsored by State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) that addresses Illinois’ teacher shortage while removing barriers that can make it difficult for service members and their spouses to teach in Illinois schools.

SB 2658, which lengthens to three years (currently two years) the period of time during which a provisional educator endorsement for a service member or spouse is valid, was one of several bills signed on “Kids Day” at the Illinois State Fair on Saturday. A total of seven bills that address the teacher shortage and early childhood education issues received public signings on Kids Day.

“It is fitting that the Governor would highlight SB 2658 as we celebrate Illinois children at the State Fair,” said Olsen. “This bill helps ensure we have quality teachers in our classrooms. It also works to make certain that when our service members and their spouses return to civilian life and the workforce, meaningful employment is within reach.”

According to Olsen, the previous law allowed a service member or spouse of a service member to obtain a Professional Educator License with Stipulations, and a provisional educator endorsement in a specific content area, if he or she holds a valid teaching certificate or license in good standing in another state, meets certain Illinois requirements for educators, and has not engaged in any misconduct that would prohibit an individual from obtaining a license pursuant to Illinois law. This new law extends the time this endorsement is valid to three years in Illinois.

“Our children deserve to receive an excellent education, and I was proud to sponsor or vote in favor of several initiatives that support that goal,” added Olsen.

SB 2658 was approved by the Senate in April and by the House in May. The provisions of the new law take effect in September of this year.

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