Bennett Legislation Signed into Law to Help Ease Teacher Shortage

SPRINGFIELD- Illinois is working towards overcoming the teaching shortage in schools by removing the often-criticized edTPA requirement for education programs. This is due to legislation filed by State Senator Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) that was recently signed into law. This new law will make it easier for prospective teachers to start their career in the classroom.

“We need to take a look at how the edTPA requirement has impacted the teaching process and how we evaluate our potential teachers,” said Bennett. “This new law will waive the standard for two years and give us time to develop a better tool for evaluating the potential of teachers.”

Students who plan to become teachers are no longer required to pass the heavily criticized edTPA standard. edTPA is routinely pointed to as one of the major roadblocks for new teachers and has been cited as a contributing factor in the ongoing teacher shortage. The requirement is expensive, takes significant time away from in-classroom training, and is often described as being ineffective at gauging the potential of prospective teachers. edTPA has also been blamed for keeping diverse teachers out of classrooms.

Senate Bill 1488, filed by Bennett, would waive the edTPA requirement through August 31, 2025. The legislation would also create the Teacher Performance Assessment Task Force, which would be tasked with developing a new evaluation system for teaching students. The task force would be required to present its findings no later than August 1, 2024.

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Tom Bennett

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