Illinois Tweaks Licensing Requirements for Technical Education Teachers

The Illinois State Board of Education's Division Administrator for Educator Effectiveness, Emily Fox, said the hope is to make it easier for schools to get people with the skills to teach career and technical education into the classroom. "The licensure requirements to get a CTE license did not change. But we did remove the barrier that said that individuals who substitute teach need to hold a bachelors degree," Fox said. "Individuals who are qualified to teach in a career and technical education classroom can sub without having to get a separate substitute license."

Schools can use substitute teachers, sometimes even for a full year, to teach a class that wouldn't otherwise have a teacher. 

Calhoun and Macoupin County assistant regional superintendent Chad Hoseman said there are a lot of people who have the skills to teach CTE classes, but the license and education requirement that stop them. 

"This not dumbing down the teacher certification process," Hoseman said. "It's allowing people who have the experience to get in and teach."

Hoseman said technical education teaching jobs are some of the most difficult for schools to fill because there often aren't enough people who meet the state's requirements. 

Illinois as a whole is experiencing a teacher shortage. 

Fox said there are at least 1,000 open teaching positions across the state, most of them in smaller communities in central and southern Illinois.