According to a recent survey conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, over 90% of schools in Illinois are currently grappling with a severe shortage of teachers. 

Temporary educators, such as retired teachers and substitutes, have been enlisted as a makeshift solution to fill vacancies in permanent positions. Increasing class sizes and combining classes are other methods schools have used to try to handle the growing shortage. However, these are only stopgap measures that can lead to other issues, such as less one-on-one time for teachers and students, increased behavioral issues, and less overall learning. 

As part of their ongoing efforts to address this growing issue, Senate Republicans are sponsoring new legislation aimed at mitigating the teacher shortage.  

Senate Bill 1487 would streamline the process for allowing a professor at a college that recently closed to become a licensed teacher. 
Senate Bill 2265 creates a tax credit for participating teachers in the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Program. 
Senate Bill 3634 would lower the requirement to be eligible for a substitute teacher license from 90 credit hours to 75 credits in an educator preparation program, and removes fees for retired educators attempting to get relicensed. 

Senate Republicans contend that these bills are solid steps toward addressing the growing teacher crisis, but that more needs to be done to make the teaching profession accessible and appealing to qualified candidates. 

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