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2    WHEREAS, Teachers are the single most important in-school
3factor affecting student achievement, and having a diversity
4of teachers significantly improves academic outcomes for both
5students of color and white students; and
6    WHEREAS, Illinois has been grappling with a teacher
7shortage for years with 2,139 vacant teaching positions in
8Fall 2022, affecting an estimated 30,000 students; and
9    WHEREAS, Teacher vacancies are not experienced equally,
10concentrating in classrooms that serve special education
11students and bilingual students as well as in schools that
12serve students who are Black, Latinx, from low-income
13households, or from rural areas; and
14    WHEREAS, Illinois' teacher workforce does not represent
15the racial diversity of its PK-12 student population; and
16    WHEREAS, The number and percentage of enrolled teaching
17candidates have increased in the past few years, but the
18number of enrollees in Illinois' teacher preparation programs
19(TPPs) is still below historic levels; and
20    WHEREAS, For many candidates of color, the cost of higher



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1education is a barrier towards completing teacher preparation
2programs; and
3    WHEREAS, The State has an array of recruitment and
4affordability initiatives that help address these challenges,
5such as early pathway programs, Minority Teachers of Illinois
6(MTI) scholarships, the Illinois Teacher Loan Repayment
7Program, Special Education Teacher Tuition Waivers (SETTW),
8the Monetary Award Program (MAP), and traditional and
9alternative pathway programs, but too few high school and
10college students or potential career changers know about the
11benefits of teaching as a career and the availability of state
12tuition support; and
13    WHEREAS, The increase in new licensure pathways that
14enable candidates to become teachers has complicated an
15already difficult to navigate teacher licensure system, making
16it more important than ever to provide personalized, targeted
17support for prospective teacher candidates; and
18    WHEREAS, The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has
19recently developed and released the Illinois Educator
20Preparation Profiles (IEPP) system that provides public
21information on the performance of Illinois educator
22preparation programs across the State; the IEPP could be
23connected to a state-wide teacher recruitment system to



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1increase candidates' access to this important information; and
2    WHEREAS, Research has shown that personalized, targeted
3support for prospective teacher candidates supports their
4efforts to navigate the maze of information, the financial aid
5process, and the requirements, increasing the number and
6diversity of candidates entering the profession; and
7    WHEREAS, The creation of a statewide teacher recruitment
8system by ISBE, with the support of the Illinois Board of
9Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board
10(ICCB), and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC),
11would facilitate the process of attracting, cultivating, and
12supporting prospective future teachers to pursue teaching by
13making resources available through a website and an associated
14social media outreach, providing prospective teaches with such
15aids as personalized educator preparation program application
16checklists, scholarship and financial aid information,
17downloadable guides on candidate eligibility and application
18advice, detailed profiles on each Illinois educator
19preparation program, educator licensure pathway information,
20opportunities for personal conversations with state staff and
21Illinois teachers to answer application process questions,
22profiles on Illinois' public school districts, and real-time
23job postings from Pre-K-12 public school districts across the
24State; therefore, be it



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3we urge the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to
4support the state goal of increasing the number and diversity
5of Illinois' educator workforce by collaborating with the
6Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois
7Community College Board (ICCB), and the Illinois Student
8Assistance Commission (ISAC) to develop and launch a
9state-wide teacher recruitment system internally, possibly
10with the support from an outside vendor, that will be
11available to the public by July 1, 2024 and will support
12interested candidates statewide to apply to, enroll in, and
13complete Illinois' Teacher Preparation Programs and succeed in
14their eventual job placement.