Chicago-based nonprofit addresses Illinois teacher shortage with policy report

In the midst of a teacher shortage, a Chicago-based nonprofit issued a policy report on Thursday addressing the problem and offering solutions.

The report is titled, "The State of Our Educator Pipeline 2023." It comes from Advance Illinois – a business-backed, bipartisan education reform group with former Governor Jim Edgar serving as Chair Emeritus.

The report indicates that Illinois has made progress on the shortage of educators despite the stresses caused by COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

"Over the past five years, Illinois has been growing its teacher workforce into and through the pandemic. Historically, we saw a drop in the number of teachers in the state following the Great Recession, but our turnaround began in the 2018 school year, and today, the teacher workforce is close to the size it was in 2009," said Ann Whalen, Director of Policy, Advance Illinois.

Also in the past five years, the report says declining student enrollment has caused the student-to-teacher ratio to decrease.