Illinois lawmakers address teacher shortage across state

Illinois Senate Democrats outlined a plan on Thursday to address a shortage of teachers in the state.

They say the first step is to identify hard-to-staff districts and look at what barriers might be preventing them from finding appropriate candidates.

Lawmakers also want to strengthen the high school to classroom pipeline to help encourage younger people to go into the profession.


In addition, they want to increase the number of days a substitute can teach in a classroom, providing consistency when regular teachers are on leave.

"We need to do a better job marketing and bettering the teacher profession on every level, and make sure we solve the issues deterring people from choosing to become a teacher," said state Sen. Kimberly Lightford.

Nearly 90-percent of school districts across the state have reported a teacher shortage problem, and many believe it will get worse in the coming years.