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Public Act 102-0621


 

Public Act 0621 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0621
 
SB0661 EnrolledLRB102 13543 CMG 18890 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
amended by adding Section 65.110 as follows:
 
    (110 ILCS 947/65.110 new)
    Sec. 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 noncitizen;
    and
        (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
alien 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.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
1, 2022.

Effective Date: 1/1/2022