The Illinois State Board of Education has updated the teacher licensure requirements to allow teacher licenses to be issued, transferred or renewed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the ISBE website, the state education office filed companion emergency rules on April 27, three days after Governor J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-31 on April 24. The executive order grants aspiring Illinois teachers who expected to complete their student teaching requirements during the spring 2020 semester before Illinois universities closed an exemption from completing licensure requirements before being issued an Illinois educator license.
For aspiring teachers who have started student teaching but were not able to complete it, they can have their student teaching requirements exempted. For those that plan to student teach but were not able to complete their content tests due to the closure of test sites, they can have their content test requirements exempted. Teacher education students who enrolled in coursework before their institutions closed and institutions used pass/fail grades instead of letter grades can use the pass/fail grades to complete coursework requirements.
Illinois institutions that have teacher education programs can file for the COVID-19 teacher education completion exemption on behalf of their students. They can also apply for the edTPA waiver through the ISBE educational licensure information system.
Aspiring Illinois teachers who are fully licensed to teach in other states should submit a copy of their out of state license and transcripts to ISBE to receive the full Illinois educator license. Teacher education students currently enrolled in out of state teacher education programs that are not able to complete their testing and student teaching requirements can apply for the same exemptions as teacher education students enrolled in Illinois teacher education programs.
The ISBE will allow currently licensed Illinois teachers whose licenses expire on June 30 to renew their licenses through Aug. 31. The state education office will allow those teachers to complete their renewal requirements online by adding remote learning planning days as part of the licensure renewal. Current licensed teachers can also use out of state and national educator activities to complete renewal requirements with their respective district’s permission.
The cost of the Illinois professional educator license is $150.
The ISBE also allows regional offices of education to process a short-term paraprofessional license for aspiring paraprofessionals with a high school diploma or GED without requiring them to take the paraprofessional competency test. Aspiring paraprofessionals would need to submit the high school graduation date along with the school’s name and location on the application. The cost of the short-term paraprofessional license is $50. The short-term paraprofessional license is valid for three years and it is not renewable. If a paraprofessional wants to remain licensed, they will have to take the paraprofessional competency test and apply for the five-year paraprofessional license.
To allow the ISBE to process teacher licensure issues, transfers and renewals promptly, all documents should be submitted to the state education office by emailing licensure documents to [email protected] and transcripts to [email protected]
The exemptions are in effect during the duration of the gubernatorial disaster proclamations, not during the shelter in place orders. The updated information on Illinois teacher licensure requirements can be found on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Licensure. Questions about the licensure process can be sent by email at [email protected] or by calling (217) 557-6763.
This story was shared by the McDonough County Voice. Email [email protected] with comments or questions on this story.