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Rauner Signs Education Bill in Carbondale

Jennifer Fuller, WSIU
Gov. Bruce Rauner signs SB 2912 at Carbondale Community High School

Governor Bruce Rauner and other state education leaders visited Carbondale Community High School Friday, where he signed legislation aimed at helping schools hire more full-time and substitute teachers.

Jason Helfer is a Deputy State School Superintendent. He says there is a large shortage of substitute teachers in Illinois, and he hopes this law addresses that.
"It really is unacceptable when we have building superintendents or teachers that are filling the role of a substitute teacher, because then they can't get their work done. And quite frankly, having a student-to-teacher ratio of 50:1 probably is not the most effective environment for instruction."
The law allows teachers from other states to transfer their certificates here, provided the licensing requirements are similar. It also lessens the regulations for people with bachelor's degrees, along with retired teachers, to become substitutes.

Governor Rauner says this is a step in the right direction, but he also wants to address school funding.
"We've been the worst state for state-level support for our K-12 schools of any state in America. That, to me, is immoral. That's immoral. That's a fundamental failure."
Local school leaders say they've been forced to turn away good candidates simply because they're from other states, or don't meet Illinois' stringent requirements. They hope this will ease the burden, and help students have a better learning experience.

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