Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5437
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Full Text of HB5437  103rd General Assembly



State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/9/2024, by Rep. Tony M. McCombie


110 ILCS 48/10
110 ILCS 48/13-1 new
110 ILCS 48/20
110 ILCS 48/35
110 ILCS 48/90
110 ILCS 48/13 rep.

    Amends the Grow Your Own Teacher Education Act. Transfers the powers and duties under the Act from the Board of Higher Education to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Replaces the requirement that the Board of Higher Education must contract annually for an independent evaluation of program implementation with the requirement that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission monitor and evaluate the implementation of the program. Provides that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission may elect to contract for an independent evaluation with an outside entity. Effective immediately.

LRB103 38232 RJT 68366 b





HB5437LRB103 38232 RJT 68366 b

1    AN ACT concerning higher education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Grow Your Own Teacher Education Act is
5amended by changing Sections 10, 20, 35, and 90 and by adding
6Section 13-1 as follows:
7    (110 ILCS 48/10)
8    Sec. 10. Definitions. In this Act:
9    "Accredited teacher preparation program" means a
10regionally accredited, Illinois approved teacher education
11program authorized to prepare individuals to fulfill all of
12the requirements to receive an Illinois initial teaching
14    "Cohort" means a group of teacher education candidates who
15are enrolled in and share experiences in the same program and
16are linked by their desire to become Illinois teachers in
17hard-to-staff schools and by their need for the services and
18supports offered by the Initiative. A cohort may include a
19high school student enrolled in a dual credit course offered
20by a participating institution of higher education.
21    "Commission" means the Illinois Student Assistance
23    "Community organization" means a nonprofit organization



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1that has a demonstrated capacity to train, develop, and
2organize parents and community leaders into a constituency
3that will hold the school and the school district accountable
4for achieving high academic standards; in addition to
5organizations with a geographic focus, "community
6organization" includes general parent organizations,
7organizations of special education or bilingual education
8parents, and school employee unions.
9    "Developmental classes" means classes in basic skill
10areas, such as mathematics and language arts that are
11prerequisite to, but not counted towards, degree requirements
12of a teacher preparation program.
13    "Dual credit course" has the meaning given to that term
14under the Dual Credit Quality Act.
15    "Eligible school" means an early childhood program
16licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services in
17which no less than 40% of the children it serves are receiving
18subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child
19Care Assistance Program, a Head Start or Early Head Start
20Program, a Preschool for All Program, or a prevention
21initiative or a public elementary, middle, or secondary school
22in this State that serves a substantial percentage of
23low-income students and that is either hard to staff or has
24hard-to-staff teaching positions.
25    "Hard-to-staff school" means an early childhood program
26licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services in



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1which no less than 40% of the children it serves are receiving
2subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child
3Care Assistance Program, a Head Start or Early Head Start
4Program, a Preschool for All Program, or a prevention
5initiative or a public elementary, middle, or secondary school
6in this State that, based on data compiled by the State Board
7of Education in conjunction with the Board of Higher
8Education, serves a substantial percentage of low-income
9students, as defined by the Board of Higher Education.
10    "Hard-to-staff teaching position" means a teaching
11category (such as special education, bilingual education,
12mathematics, or science) in which statewide data compiled by
13the State Board of Education in conjunction with the Board of
14Higher Education indicates a multi-year pattern of substantial
15teacher shortage or that has been identified as a critical
16need by the local school board.
17    "Initiative" means the Grow Your Own Teacher Education
18Initiative created under this Act.
19    "Para educator" means an individual with a history of
20demonstrated accomplishments in school staff positions (such
21as teacher assistants, school-community liaisons, school
22clerks, and security aides) in schools that meet the
23definition of a hard-to-staff school under this Section.
24    "Parent and community leader" means an individual who has
25or had a child enrolled in a school or schools that meet the
26definition of a hard-to-staff school under this Section and



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1who has a history of active involvement in the school or who
2has a history of working to improve schools serving a
3substantial percentage of low-income students, including
4membership in a community organization.
5    "Program" means a Grow Your Own Teacher preparation
6program established by a consortium under this Act.
7    "Schools serving a substantial percentage of low-income
8students" means schools that maintain any of grades
9pre-kindergarten through 8, in which at least 35% of the
10students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches
11and schools that maintain any of grades 9 through 12, in which
12at least 25% of the students are eligible to receive free or
13reduced price lunches.
14(Source: P.A. 101-122, eff. 7-26-19.)
15    (110 ILCS 48/13-1 new)
16    Sec. 13-1. Transfer of powers and duties to the Illinois
17Student Assistance Commission. On July 1, 2024, all powers and
18duties of the Board of Higher Education under this Act are to
19be transferred to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
20The Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Student
21Assistance Commission shall assist in transferring these
22duties; however, no rules shall be adopted regarding candidate
23eligibility that are more restrictive than Section 20.
24    (110 ILCS 48/20)



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1    Sec. 20. Selection of grantees. The Commission Board of
2Higher Education shall, subject to appropriation, allocate
3funds to Grow Your Own Illinois for the purpose of
4administering the program and awarding grants as needed to
5qualified consortia that reflect the distribution and
6diversity of hard-to-staff schools and hard-to-staff positions
7across this State. In awarding grants, Grow Your Own Illinois
8shall select programs that successfully address Initiative
9criteria and that reflect a diversity of strategies in terms
10of serving urban areas, serving rural areas, the nature of the
11participating institutions of higher education, and the nature
12of hard-to-staff schools and hard-to-staff teaching positions
13on which a program is focused.
14    Grow Your Own Illinois shall select, manage, and oversee
15consortia that meet the following requirements:
16        (1) A consortium shall be composed of at least one
17    4-year institution of higher education with an Illinois
18    approved teacher preparation program, at least one school
19    district or group of schools, and one or more community
20    organizations. The consortium membership may also include
21    a 2-year institution of higher education, a school
22    employee union, or a regional office of education.
23        (2) The 4-year institution of higher education
24    participating in the consortium shall have past,
25    demonstrated success in preparing teachers for elementary
26    or secondary schools serving a substantial percentage of



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1    low-income students.
2        (3) The consortium shall focus on a clearly defined
3    set of eligible schools that will participate in the
4    program. The consortium shall articulate the steps that it
5    will carry out in preparing teachers for its participating
6    schools and in preparing teachers for one or more
7    hard-to-staff teaching positions in those schools.
8        (4) The consortium shall recruit potential candidates
9    for the program and shall take into consideration when
10    selecting a candidate whether the candidate:
11            (A) holds a high school diploma or its equivalent
12        or is a high school student enrolled in a dual credit
13        course offered by a participating institution of
14        higher education;
15            (B) meets either the definition of "parent and
16        community leader" or the definition of "para educator"
17        contained in Section 10 of this Act;
18            (C) (blank);
19            (D) exhibits a willingness to be a teacher in a
20        hard-to-staff school with the goal of maintaining
21        academic excellence;
22            (E) shows an interest in postsecondary education
23        and may hold an associate's degree, a bachelor's
24        degree, or another postsecondary degree, but a
25        postsecondary education is not required;
26            (F) is a parent, a para educator, a community



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1        leader, or any other individual from a community with
2        a hard-to-staff school;
3            (G) commits to completing and passing all State
4        standards, including the licensure test to obtain an
5        educator license;
6            (H) shows a willingness to set high standards of
7        performance for himself or herself and students; and
8            (I) demonstrates commitment to the program by:
9                (i) maintaining a cumulative grade point
10            average of at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or the
11            equivalent as determined by the Board of Higher
12            Education);
13                (ii) attending monthly cohort meetings; and
14                (iii) applying for financial aid from all
15            other financial aid resources before applying for
16            assistance from the program.
17        (5) The consortium shall employ effective procedures
18    for teaching the skills and knowledge needed to prepare
19    highly competent teachers. Professional preparation shall
20    include on-going direct experience in target schools and
21    evaluation of this experience.
22        (6) The consortium shall offer the program to cohorts
23    of candidates, as defined in Section 10 of this Act, on a
24    schedule that enables candidates to work full time while
25    participating in the program and allows para educators to
26    continue in their current positions. In any fiscal year in



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1    which an appropriation for the Initiative is made, the
2    consortium shall guarantee that support will be available
3    to an admitted cohort for the cohort's education for that
4    fiscal year. At the beginning of the Initiative, programs
5    that are already operating and existing cohorts of
6    candidates under this model shall be eligible for funding.
7        (7) The institutions of higher education participating
8    in the consortium shall document and agree to expend the
9    same amount of funds in implementing the program that
10    these institutions spend per student on similar
11    educational programs. Grants received by the consortium
12    shall supplement and not supplant these amounts.
13        (8) Grow Your Own Illinois shall establish and oversee
14    additional criteria for review of proposals, including
15    criteria that address the following issues:
16            (A) Previous experience of the institutions of
17        higher education in preparing candidates for
18        hard-to-staff schools and positions and in working
19        with students with non-traditional backgrounds.
20            (B) The quality of the implementation plan,
21        including strategies for overcoming institutional
22        barriers to the progress of non-traditional
23        candidates.
24            (C) If a community college is a participant, the
25        nature and extent of existing articulation agreements
26        and guarantees between the community college and the



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1        4-year institution of higher education.
2            (D) The number of candidates to be educated in the
3        planned cohort or cohorts and the capacity of the
4        consortium for adding cohorts in future cycles.
5            (E) Experience of the community organization or
6        organizations in organizing parents and community
7        leaders to achieve school improvement and a strong
8        relational school culture.
9            (F) The qualifications of the person or persons
10        designated by the 4-year institution of higher
11        education to be responsible for cohort support and the
12        development of a shared learning and social
13        environment among candidates.
14            (G) The consortium's plan for collective
15        consortium decision-making, involving all consortium
16        members, including mechanisms for candidate input.
17            (H) The consortium's plan for direct impact of the
18        program on the quality of education in the eligible
19        schools.
20            (I) The relevance of the curriculum to the needs
21        of the eligible schools and positions, and the use in
22        curriculum and instructional planning of principles
23        for effective education for adults.
24            (J) The availability of classes under the program
25        in places and times accessible to the candidates.
26            (K) Provision of a level of performance to be



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1        maintained by candidates as a condition of continuing
2        in the program.
3            (L) The plan of the 4-year institution of higher
4        education to ensure that candidates take advantage of
5        existing financial aid resources before using the loan
6        funds described in Section 25 of this Act.
7            (M) The availability of supportive services,
8        including, but not limited to, counseling, tutoring,
9        transportation, technology and technology support, and
10        child care.
11            (N) A plan for continued participation of
12        graduates of the program in a program of support for at
13        least 2 years, including mentoring and group meetings.
14            (O) A plan for testing and qualitative evaluation
15        of candidates' teaching skills that ensures that
16        graduates of the program are as prepared for teaching
17        as other individuals completing the institution of
18        higher education's preparation program for the
19        certificate sought.
20            (P) A plan for internal evaluation that provides
21        reports at least yearly on the progress of candidates
22        towards graduation and the impact of the program on
23        the target schools and their communities.
24            (Q) Contributions from schools, school districts,
25        and other consortia members to the program, including
26        stipends for candidates during their student teaching.



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1            (R) Consortium commitment for sustaining the
2        program over time, as evidenced by plans for reduced
3        requirements for external funding, in subsequent
4        cycles.
5            (S) The inclusion in the planned program of
6        strategies derived from community organizing that will
7        help candidates develop tools for working with parents
8        and other community members.
9    Subject to the requirements under the Dual Credit Quality
10Act, a participating institution of higher education may offer
11a high school student a dual credit course under the program.
12    The Board of Higher Education may not adopt rules
13regarding candidate eligibility that are more restrictive than
14this Section.
15(Source: P.A. 101-122, eff. 7-26-19.)
16    (110 ILCS 48/35)
17    Sec. 35. Annual Independent program evaluation.
18    (a) Annually, at a time determined by the Commission in
19consultation with Grow Your Own Illinois (GYO-IL), GYO-IL
20shall submit a report to assist the Commission in monitoring
21GYO-IL's, and each of its participating consortia, performance
22and grant activities. The report shall describe the following:
23        (1) GYO-IL's anticipated expenditures for the next
24    fiscal year;
25        (2) the number of qualified students receiving grant



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1    assistance at each institution of higher learning during
2    the previous fiscal year;
3        (3) the total monetary value of grant funds paid to
4    each institution of higher learning at which a qualified
5    student was enrolled during the previous fiscal year;
6        (4) the number of grant recipients who completed a
7    baccalaureate degree during the previous fiscal year;
8        (5) the number of grant recipients who fulfilled their
9    teaching obligation by completing 5 years of service in
10    hard-to-staff schools or hard-to-staff teaching positions
11    during the previous fiscal year;
12        (6) the number of grant recipients who failed to
13    fulfill their teaching obligation during the previous
14    fiscal year;
15        (7) the number of grant recipients granted a waiver or
16    deferral to waive the 5 years of service requirement
17    described in subsection (a) of Section 25 during the
18    previous fiscal year; and
19        (8) other information that the Commission may
20    reasonably request.
21    (b) The Commission may elect to contract for an
22independent evaluation of program implementation with an
23outside entity if the Commission so chooses. The independent
24evaluation must consider and collect all of the information
25outlined in this Section.
26    (c) The Auditor General shall prepare an annual audit of



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1the operations and finances of the Grow Your Own Illinois and
2each consortium that received any State funds in the previous
3fiscal year. This audit shall be provided to the Governor, the
4General Assembly, and the Commission.
5The Board of Higher Education shall contract for an
6independent evaluation of program implementation by each of
7its participating consortia and of the impact of each program,
8including the extent of candidate persistence in program
9enrollment, acceptance as an education major in a 4-year
10institution of higher education, completion of a bachelor's
11degree in teaching, obtaining a teaching position in a target
12school or similar school, subsequent effectiveness as a
13teacher, and persistence in teaching in a target school or
14similar school. The evaluation shall assess the Initiative's
15overall effectiveness and shall identify particular program
16strategies that are especially effective.
17(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
18    (110 ILCS 48/90)
19    Sec. 90. Rules. The Commission Board of Higher Education
20may adopt any rules necessary to carry out its
21responsibilities under this Act.
22(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
23    (110 ILCS 48/13 rep.)
24    Section 10. The Grow Your Own Teacher Education Act is



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1amended by repealing Section 13.
2    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
3becoming law.