Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2356
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Full Text of SB2356  100th General Assembly



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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Grow Your Own Teacher Education Act is
5amended by changing Sections 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 as follows:
6    (110 ILCS 48/10)
7    Sec. 10. Definitions. In this Act:
8    "Accredited teacher preparation program" means a
9regionally accredited, Illinois approved teacher education
10program authorized to prepare individuals to fulfill all of the
11requirements to receive an Illinois initial teaching
13    "Cohort" means a group of teacher education candidates who
14are enrolled in and share experiences in the same program and
15are linked by their desire to become Illinois teachers in
16hard-to-staff schools and by their need for the services and
17supports offered by the Initiative.
18    "Community organization" means a nonprofit organization
19that has a demonstrated capacity to train, develop, and
20organize parents and community leaders into a constituency that
21will hold the school and the school district accountable for
22achieving high academic standards; in addition to
23organizations with a geographic focus, "community



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1organization" includes general parent organizations,
2organizations of special education or bilingual education
3parents, and school employee unions.
4    "Developmental classes" means classes in basic skill
5areas, such as mathematics and language arts that are
6prerequisite to, but not counted towards, degree requirements
7of a teacher preparation program.
8    "Eligible school" means a public elementary, middle, or
9secondary school in this State that serves a substantial
10percentage of low-income students and that is either hard to
11staff or has hard-to-staff teaching positions, including, but
12not limited to, an early childhood program licensed by the
13Department of Children and Family Services in which no less
14than 60% of the children it serves are receiving subsidized
15care under the Department of Human Services' Child Care
16Assistance Program, Head Start or Early Head Start Program,
17Preschool for All Program, or a prevention initiative.
18    "Hard-to-staff school" means a public elementary, middle,
19or secondary school in this State that, based on data compiled
20by the State Board of Education in conjunction with the Board
21of Higher Education, serves a substantial percentage of
22low-income students, as defined by the Board of Higher
24    "Hard-to-staff teaching position" means a teaching
25category (such as special education, bilingual education,
26mathematics, or science) in which statewide data compiled by



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1the State Board of Education in conjunction with the Board of
2Higher Education indicates a multi-year pattern of substantial
3teacher shortage or that has been identified as a critical need
4by the local school board.
5    "Initiative" means the Grow Your Own Teacher Education
6Initiative created under this Act.
7    "Para educator" means an individual with a history of
8demonstrated accomplishments in school staff positions (such
9as teacher assistants, school-community liaisons, school
10clerks, and security aides) in schools that meet the definition
11of a hard-to-staff school under this Section.
12    "Parent and community leader" means an individual who has
13or had a child enrolled in a school or schools that meet the
14definition of a hard-to-staff school under this Section and who
15has a history of active involvement in the school or who has a
16history of working to improve schools serving a substantial
17percentage of low-income students, including membership in a
18community organization.
19    "Program" means a Grow Your Own Teacher preparation program
20established by a consortium under this Act.
21    "Schools serving a substantial percentage of low-income
22students" means schools that maintain any of grades
23pre-kindergarten through 8, in which at least 35% of the
24students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches
25and schools that maintain any of grades 9 through 12, in which
26at least 25% of the students are eligible to receive free or



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1reduced price lunches.
2(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
3    (110 ILCS 48/15)
4    Sec. 15. Creation of Initiative. The Grow Your Own Teacher
5Education Initiative is created. Grow Your Own Illinois The
6Board of Higher Education shall administer the Initiative as a
7grant competition to fund consortia that will carry out Grow
8Your Own Teacher preparation programs.
9(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
10    (110 ILCS 48/20)
11    Sec. 20. Selection of grantees. The Board of Higher
12Education shall, subject to appropriation, allocate funds to
13Grow Your Own Illinois for the purpose of administering the
14program and awarding award grants as needed to qualified
15consortia that reflect the distribution and diversity of
16hard-to-staff schools and hard-to-staff positions across this
17State. In awarding grants, Grow Your Own Illinois the Board of
18Higher Education shall select programs that successfully
19address Initiative criteria and that reflect a diversity of
20strategies in terms of serving urban areas, serving rural
21areas, the nature of the participating institutions of higher
22education, and the nature of hard-to-staff schools and
23hard-to-staff teaching positions on which a program is focused.
24    Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher Education shall



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1select, manage, and oversee consortia that meet the following
3        (1) A consortium shall be composed of at least one
4    4-year institution of higher education with an Illinois
5    approved teacher preparation program, at least one school
6    district or group of schools, and one or more community
7    organizations. The consortium membership may also include
8    a 2-year institution of higher education, a school employee
9    union, or a regional office of education.
10        (2) The 4-year institution of higher education
11    participating in the consortium shall have past,
12    demonstrated success in preparing teachers for elementary
13    or secondary schools serving a substantial percentage of
14    low-income students.
15        (3) The consortium shall focus on a clearly defined set
16    of eligible schools that will participate in the program.
17    The consortium shall articulate the steps that it will
18    carry out in preparing teachers for its participating
19    schools and in preparing teachers for one or more
20    hard-to-staff teaching positions in those schools.
21        (4) The consortium shall recruit potential candidates
22    for the program and shall take into consideration when
23    selecting a candidate whether the candidate:
24            (A) holds a high school diploma or its equivalent;
25            (B) meets either the definition of "parent and
26        community leader" or the definition of "para educator"



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1        contained in Section 10 of this Act;
2            (C) has experienced an interruption in his or her
3        college education;
4            (D) exhibits a willingness to be a teacher in a
5        hard-to-staff school with the goal of maintaining
6        academic excellence;
7            (E) shows an interest in postsecondary education
8        and may hold an associate's degree, a bachelor's
9        degree, or another postsecondary degree, but a
10        postsecondary education is not required;
11            (F) is a parent, a para educator, a community
12        leader, or any other individual from a community with a
13        hard-to-staff school;
14            (G) commits to completing and passing all State
15        standards, including the licensure test to obtain an
16        educator license;
17            (H) shows a willingness to set high standards of
18        performance for himself or herself and students; and
19            (I) demonstrates commitment to the program by:
20                (i) maintaining a cumulative grade point
21            average of at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or the
22            equivalent as determined by the Board of Higher
23            Education);
24                (ii) attending monthly cohort meetings; and
25                (iii) applying for financial aid from all
26            other financial aid resources before applying for



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1            assistance from the program.
2        (5) The consortium shall employ effective procedures
3    for teaching the skills and knowledge needed to prepare
4    highly competent teachers. Professional preparation shall
5    include on-going direct experience in target schools and
6    evaluation of this experience.
7        (6) The consortium shall offer the program to cohorts
8    of candidates, as defined in Section 10 of this Act, on a
9    schedule that enables candidates to work full time while
10    participating in the program and allows para educators to
11    continue in their current positions. In any fiscal year in
12    which an appropriation for the Initiative is made, the
13    consortium shall guarantee that support will be available
14    to an admitted cohort for the cohort's education for that
15    fiscal year. At the beginning of the Initiative, programs
16    that are already operating and existing cohorts of
17    candidates under this model shall be eligible for funding.
18        (7) The institutions of higher education participating
19    in the consortium shall document and agree to expend the
20    same amount of funds in implementing the program that these
21    institutions spend per student on similar educational
22    programs. Grants received by the consortium shall
23    supplement and not supplant these amounts.
24        (8) Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher
25    Education shall establish and oversee additional criteria
26    for review of proposals, including criteria that address



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1    the following issues:
2            (A) Previous experience of the institutions of
3        higher education in preparing candidates for
4        hard-to-staff schools and positions and in working
5        with students with non-traditional backgrounds.
6            (B) The quality of the implementation plan,
7        including strategies for overcoming institutional
8        barriers to the progress of non-traditional
9        candidates.
10            (C) If a community college is a participant, the
11        nature and extent of existing articulation agreements
12        and guarantees between the community college and the
13        4-year institution of higher education.
14            (D) The number of candidates to be educated in the
15        planned cohort or cohorts and the capacity of the
16        consortium for adding cohorts in future cycles.
17            (E) Experience of the community organization or
18        organizations in organizing parents and community
19        leaders to achieve school improvement and a strong
20        relational school culture.
21            (F) The qualifications of the person or persons
22        designated by the 4-year institution of higher
23        education to be responsible for cohort support and the
24        development of a shared learning and social
25        environment among candidates.
26            (G) The consortium's plan for collective



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1        consortium decision-making, involving all consortium
2        members, including mechanisms for candidate input.
3            (H) The consortium's plan for direct impact of the
4        program on the quality of education in the eligible
5        schools.
6            (I) The relevance of the curriculum to the needs of
7        the eligible schools and positions, and the use in
8        curriculum and instructional planning of principles
9        for effective education for adults.
10            (J) The availability of classes under the program
11        in places and times accessible to the candidates.
12            (K) Provision of a level of performance to be
13        maintained by candidates as a condition of continuing
14        in the program.
15            (L) The plan of the 4-year institution of higher
16        education to ensure that candidates take advantage of
17        existing financial aid resources before using the loan
18        funds described in Section 25 of this Act.
19            (M) The availability of supportive services,
20        including, but not limited to, counseling, tutoring,
21        transportation, technology and technology support, and
22        child care.
23            (N) A plan for continued participation of
24        graduates of the program in a program of support for at
25        least 2 years, including mentoring and group meetings.
26            (O) A plan for testing and qualitative evaluation



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1        of candidates' teaching skills that ensures that
2        graduates of the program are as prepared for teaching
3        as other individuals completing the institution of
4        higher education's preparation program for the
5        certificate sought.
6            (P) A plan for internal evaluation that provides
7        reports at least yearly on the progress of candidates
8        towards graduation and the impact of the program on the
9        target schools and their communities.
10            (Q) Contributions from schools, school districts,
11        and other consortia members to the program, including
12        stipends for candidates during their student teaching.
13            (R) Consortium commitment for sustaining the
14        program over time, as evidenced by plans for reduced
15        requirements for external funding, in subsequent
16        cycles.
17            (S) The inclusion in the planned program of
18        strategies derived from community organizing that will
19        help candidates develop tools for working with parents
20        and other community members.
21(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
22    (110 ILCS 48/25)
23    Sec. 25. Expenditures under the Initiative.
24    (a) Every program under the Initiative shall implement a
25program of forgivable loans to cover any portion of tuition,



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1books, and fees of candidates under the program in excess of
2the candidates' grants-in-aid. All students admitted to a
3cohort shall be eligible for a forgivable student loan. Loans
4shall be fully forgiven if a graduate completes 5 years of
5service in hard-to-staff schools or hard-to-staff teaching
6positions, with partial forgiveness for shorter periods of
7service. Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher Education
8shall establish standards for the approval of requests for
9waivers or deferrals from individuals to waive this obligation
10and . The Board of Higher Education shall also define standards
11for the fiscal management of these loan funds.
12    (b) Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher Education
13shall award grants under the Initiative in such a way as to
14provide the required support for a cohort of candidates for any
15fiscal year in which an appropriation for the Initiative is
16made. Program budgets must show expenditures and needed funds
17for the entire period that candidates are expected to be
19    (c) No funds under the Initiative may be used to supplant
20the average per-capita expenditures by the institution of
21higher education for candidates.
22    (d) Where necessary, program budgets shall include the
23costs of child care and other indirect expenses, such as
24transportation, tutoring, technology, and technology support,
25necessary to permit candidates to maintain their class
26schedules. Grant funds may be used by any member of a



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1consortium to offset such costs, and the services may be
2provided by the community organization or organizations, by any
3other member of the consortium, or by independent contractors.
4    (e) The institution of higher education may expend grant
5funds to cover the additional costs of offering classes in
6community settings and for tutoring services.
7    (f) The community organization or organizations may
8receive a portion of the grant money for the expenses of
9recruitment, community orientation, and counseling of
10potential candidates, for providing space in the community, and
11for working with school personnel to facilitate individual work
12experiences and support of candidates.
13    (g) The school district or school employee union or both
14may receive a portion of the grant money for expenses of
15supporting the work experiences of candidates and providing
16mentors for graduates. Notwithstanding the provisions of
17Section 10-20.15 of the School Code, school districts may also
18use these or other applicable public funds to pay participants
19in programs under the Initiative for student teaching required
20by an accredited teacher preparation program.
21    (h) One or more members of the consortium may expend funds
22to cover the salary of a site-based cohort coordinator.
23    (i) Grant funds may also be expended to pay directly for
24required developmental classes for candidates beginning a
26(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)



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1    (110 ILCS 48/30)
2    Sec. 30. Implementation of Initiative. Grow Your Own
3Illinois The Board of Higher Education may, if it chooses,
4award and administer a small number of planning grants during
5any fiscal year to potential consortia.
6(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
7    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,