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110 ILCS 947/65.110
(110 ILCS 947/65.110)
Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License scholarship.
(a) Subject to appropriation, beginning with awards for the 2022-2023 academic year, the Commission shall award annually up to 250 Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License scholarships to a person who:
(1) holds a valid Illinois-licensed clinical social
work license or social work license;
(2) has obtained a master's degree in social work
from an approved program;
(3) is a United States citizen or eligible
(4) submits an application to the Commission for
such scholarship and agrees to take courses to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an endorsement in School Social Work.
(b) If an appropriation for this Section for a given fiscal year is insufficient to provide scholarships to all qualified applicants, the Commission shall allocate the appropriation in accordance with this subsection (b). If funds are insufficient to provide all qualified applicants with a scholarship as authorized by this Section, the Commission shall allocate the available scholarship funds for that fiscal year to qualified applicants who submit a complete application on or before a date specified by the Commission, based on the following order of priority:
(1) firstly, to students who received a scholarship
under this Section in the prior academic year and who remain eligible for a scholarship under this Section;
(2) secondly, to new, qualified applicants who are
members of a racial minority, as defined in subsection (c); and
(3) finally, to other new, qualified applicants in
accordance with this Section.
(c) Scholarships awarded under this Section shall be issued pursuant to rules adopted by the Commission. In awarding scholarships, the Commission shall give priority to those applicants who are members of a racial minority. Racial minorities are underrepresented as school social workers in elementary and secondary schools in this State, and the General Assembly finds that it is in the interest of this State to provide them with priority consideration for programs that encourage their participation in this field and thereby foster a profession that is more reflective of the diversity of Illinois students and the parents they will serve. A more reflective workforce in school social work allows improved outcomes for students and a better utilization of services. Therefore, the Commission shall give priority to those applicants who are members of a racial minority. In this subsection (c), "racial minority" means a person who is a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is:
(1) Black (a person having origins in any of the
black racial groups in Africa);
(2) Hispanic (a person of Spanish or Portuguese
culture with origins in Mexico, South or Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race);
(3) Asian American (a person having origins in any of
the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands); or
(4) American Indian or Alaskan Native (a person
having origins in any of the original peoples of North America).
(d) Each scholarship shall be applied to the payment of tuition and mandatory fees at the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and Western Illinois University. Each scholarship may be applied to pay tuition and mandatory fees required to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an endorsement in School Social Work.
(e) The Commission shall make tuition and fee payments directly to the qualified institution of higher learning that the applicant attends.
(f) Any person who has accepted a scholarship under this Section must, within one year after graduation or termination of enrollment in a Post-Master of Social Work Professional Education License with an endorsement in School Social Work program, begin working as a school social worker at a public or nonpublic not-for-profit preschool, elementary school, or secondary school located in this State for at least 2 of the 5 years immediately following that graduation or termination, excluding, however, from the computation of that 5-year period: (i) any time up to 3 years spent in the military service, whether such service occurs before or after the person graduates; (ii) the time that person is a person with a temporary total disability for a period of time not to exceed 3 years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a qualified physician; and (iii) the time that person is seeking and unable to find full-time employment as a school social worker at a State public or nonpublic not-for-profit preschool, elementary school, or secondary school.
(g) If a recipient of a scholarship under this Section fails to fulfill the work obligation set forth in subsection (f), the Commission shall require the recipient to repay the amount of the scholarships received, prorated according to the fraction of the obligation not completed, at a rate of interest equal to 5%, and, if applicable, reasonable collection fees. The Commission is authorized to establish rules relating to its collection activities for repayment of scholarships under this Section. All repayments collected under this Section shall be forwarded to the State Comptroller for deposit into this State's General Revenue Fund.
A recipient of a scholarship under this Section is not considered to be in violation of the failure to fulfill the work obligation under subsection (f) if the recipient (i) enrolls on a full-time basis as a graduate student in a course of study related to the field of social work at a qualified Illinois institution of higher learning; (ii) is serving, not in excess of 3 years, as a member of the armed services of the United States; (iii) is a person with a temporary total disability for a period of time not to exceed 3 years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a qualified physician; (iv) is seeking and unable to find full-time employment as a school social worker at an Illinois public or nonpublic not-for-profit preschool, elementary school, or secondary school that satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection (f) and is able to provide evidence of that fact; or (v) becomes a person with a permanent total disability, as established by the sworn affidavit of a qualified physician.
(Source: P.A. 102-621, eff. 1-1-22; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-1030, eff. 5-27-22.)