Illinois State Supt. of Education Carmen Ayala feels recent legislation to help more people become teachers will turn around a teacher shortage.
One of the bills Gov. Pritzker signed last month lowers the fee to reinstate a lapsed teaching certificate. Another lowers the age to be a classroom aide. And another increases the number of days a substitute teacher can be in the same classroom in some circumstances. Ayala says there are other things going on in Illinois to develop a pipeline for students to become teachers.
The shortage is caused at least in part by teachers leaving the profession. Ayala says those teachers are making the kinds of career and retirement decisions everyone makes.
Sometimes, it's just time to retire or move on to another line of work. Education reform is a factor for some. Ayala says with every reform, some teachers decide teaching isn't for them anymore.