Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5361
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Full Text of HB5361  102nd General Assembly

HB5361 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  

 


 
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
HB5361

 

Introduced 1/31/2022, by Rep. Amy Grant

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
New Act

    Creates the Paraprofessional Fast Tract to Teaching Degree Pilot Program Act. Makes findings. Provides that the Fast Tract to Teaching Degree Pilot Program is created for a 2-year degree pathway by which paraprofessional educators may enroll to achieve the education requirements to attain a professional education license in this State, which shall comply with the standards of the State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education. Provides that, subject to appropriation, beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year or if funds are not appropriated for the Program that academic year, beginning with the academic year in which funds are appropriated for the Program, the State Board of Education and the of Higher Education shall coordinate with each other to assign a qualified individual to serve as a Program director to develop the curriculum for the pathway. Provides that one public elementary or public secondary school and one public university in this State shall be chosen to develop a Program for transitioning paraprofessionals to teachers. Includes the core components of the Program. Provides that the State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education must submit a report to the Governor, General Assembly, and the Legislative Reference Bureau detailing the impact of the Program and then the Program is dissolved and the provisions are repealed. Effective immediately.


LRB102 25055 RJT 34314 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

HB5361LRB102 25055 RJT 34314 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Paraprofessional Fast Tract to Teaching Degree Pilot Program
6Act.
 
7    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds:
8        (1) In Illinois, starting 4-year teaching certified
9    college graduates earn $45,000 to 55,000 a year as
10    compared to education paraprofessionals who are paid an
11    average annual salary of $29,232 and have an average
12    starting salary is $23,000.
13        (2) education paraprofessionals are required to have
14    2-year associate's degree to teach in Illinois. Comparing
15    this with other 2-year college technician certificates,
16    such as a veterinary technicians who have an average
17    salary of $42,000, human resource assistants who have an
18    average salary of $45,000, forestry technicians who have
19    an average salary of $42,000, and paralegals who have an
20    average salary of $61,000, education paraprofessionals are
21    not seeing the return on their educational investment.
22        (3) Local schools districts have strongly voiced their
23    need for more qualified teachers.

 

 

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1        (4) Alternative routes to teacher certification, which
2    tend to be faster and less expensive than traditional
3    programs, should be explored by the State to produce more
4    teachers.
5        (5) It is in the interests of State residents to
6    identify affordable pathways to secure a teacher licenses
7    in Illinois.
8        (6) Paraprofessional educators are particularly
9    well-positioned to take advantage of such pathways into
10    teaching. Given access to high-quality certification
11    programs tailored to their specific experiences and needs,
12    they can make a significant contribution to local efforts
13    to address teacher shortages.
14        (7) It is in the interests of State residents to have
15    an accredited paraprofessional to teaching degree pathway
16    based on both campus-based instruction and courses offered
17    in the schools where our candidates work, while also
18    giving them opportunities to earn academic credit by
19    demonstrating the knowledge and skills they have mastered
20    in their jobs.
 
21    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act, unless the
22context otherwise requires:
23    "Paraprofessional" or "paraprofessional educator" means a
24person who holds a paraprofessional educator endorsement in
25accordance with the School Code.

 

 

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1    "Program" means the Paraprofessional Fast Tract to
2Teaching Degree Pilot Program.
 
3    Section 15. Creation of a 2-year degree pathway. The
4Paraprofessional Fast Tract to Teaching Degree Pilot Program
5is created for a 2-year degree pathway by which
6paraprofessional educators may enroll to achieve the education
7requirements to attain a professional education license in
8this State, which shall comply with the standards of the State
9Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education.
 
10    Section 20. Program requirements.
11    (a) Subject to appropriation, beginning with the 2022-2023
12academic year or, if funds are not appropriated for the
13Program that academic year, beginning with the academic year
14in which funds are appropriated for the Program, the State
15Board of Education and the of Higher Education shall
16coordinate with each other to assign a qualified individual to
17serve as a Program director to develop the curriculum for the
182-year pathway created in Section 15. If a source of outside
19funding for the Program director is secured to support the
20development of the Program, the State Board of Education and
21Board of Higher Education shall facilitate the approval of the
22paraprofessional to teacher bachelor degree curriculum pathway
23for the public institutions agreeing to participate in the
24Program.

 

 

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1    (b) Under the Program, one public elementary or public
2secondary school and one public university in this State shall
3be chosen to develop a Program for transitioning
4paraprofessionals to teachers through the Program.
5    The core components of the Program must include all of the
6following:
7        (1) Allow paraprofessionals to enroll in a
8    baccalaureate degree granting institution and enroll in
9    courses that allow them to complete 30 college coursework
10    credits toward a baccalaureate degree that would meet
11    Illinois teacher-licensing standards.
12        (2) Allow paraprofessionals to earn 30 college
13    coursework credits for the work that they perform in their
14    role as a paraprofessional educator at a public elementary
15    school or public secondary school.
16        (3) To use online course options to reduce costs and
17    required travel.
18        (4) Evaluations by the mentor teacher of the
19    paraprofessional must be included for the approval of the
20    30 hours of credits earned teaching the in classroom.
21        (5) The participating elementary or secondary school
22    must promise that they will consider hiring the
23    paraprofessionals as full-time teachers after the
24    paraprofessionals complete the Program.
25    (c) The curriculum of the Program shall be established by
26the university's educator preparation program. This curriculum

 

 

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1shall reflect the core components of the Program identified in
2subsection (b).
3    (d) The Program director may expand the participation of
4this Program if the director finds multiple willing and able
5schools and universities.
 
6    Section 25. Reporting.
7    (a) After the cohort of students complete the Program
8under Section 15, the State Board of Education and the Board of
9Higher Education must submit a report to the Governor, General
10Assembly, and the Legislative Reference Bureau detailing the
11impact of the Program on all of the following:
12        (1) Number of paraprofessionals that attained a
13    baccalaureate degree.
14        (2) Successes and failures of the Program.
15        (3) Reducing the costs of attending an institution of
16    higher learning and overall student loan debt for
17    individuals pursuing a degree in teaching.
18        (4) Creating a model curriculum that can be replicated
19    through partnerships between other institutions of higher
20    learning and school districts across the State.
21    (b) The Program is dissolved on the day the State Board of
22Education and the Board of Higher Education submit the report
23required under subsection (a).
 
24    Section 30. Repeal. On the date that the Legislative

 

 

HB5361- 6 -LRB102 25055 RJT 34314 b

1Reference Bureau receives the report sent to it under
2subsection (a) of Section 25, the, this Act is repealed.
 
3    Section 90. Rules.
4    The State Board of Education and the Board of Higher
5Education must adopt rules to implement this Act.
 
6    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
7becoming law.