Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation recently to strengthen the pipeline of paraprofessionals serving students in schools across the state.
“Paraprofessionals play a vital role in classrooms and in our children’s lives, particularly for students with special needs,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This new law ensures that qualified aides get the opportunity to support our hardworking teachers and help our kids reach their potential, as we work to address teaching shortages across the state.”
The new law reinstates the opportunity for individuals who hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent to become licensed after passing a paraprofessional competency test. Many paraprofessionals serve as aides to special education students. The legislation also makes various changes to address teacher licensure.
“As we work to build a robust teacher workforce in Illinois, this bill ensures a merit-based route to licensure for paraprofessionals who are looking to advance their careers,” said Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the Senate sponsor of the measure. “Thank you to ISBE for working with us to see this legislation through.”
“I want to thank Governor Pritzker for signing SB 10. School districts throughout the state are facing a teacher shortage that’s impacting their ability to adequately staff classrooms,” said House Assistant Majority Leader and House sponsor Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates). “With the passage of SB 10, districts will now have another tool to increase the number of paraprofessionals to assist in the classrooms.”
Senate Bill 10 takes effect immediately.