Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0244
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Full Text of SB0244  101st 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. A cohort may include a high
18school student enrolled in a dual credit course offered by a
19participating institution of higher education.
20    "Community organization" means a nonprofit organization
21that has a demonstrated capacity to train, develop, and
22organize parents and community leaders into a constituency that
23will hold the school and the school district accountable for



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1achieving high academic standards; in addition to
2organizations with a geographic focus, "community
3organization" includes general parent organizations,
4organizations of special education or bilingual education
5parents, and school employee unions.
6    "Developmental classes" means classes in basic skill
7areas, such as mathematics and language arts that are
8prerequisite to, but not counted towards, degree requirements
9of a teacher preparation program.
10    "Dual credit course" has the meaning given to that term
11under the Dual Credit Quality Act.
12    "Eligible school" means an early childhood program
13licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services in
14which no less than 40% of the children it serves are receiving
15subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child
16Care Assistance Program, a Head Start or Early Head Start
17Program, a Preschool for All Program, or a prevention
18initiative or a public elementary, middle, or secondary school
19in this State that serves a substantial percentage of
20low-income students and that is either hard to staff or has
21hard-to-staff teaching positions.
22    "Hard-to-staff school" means an early childhood program
23licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services in
24which no less than 40% of the children it serves are receiving
25subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child
26Care Assistance Program, a Head Start or Early Head Start



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1Program, a Preschool for All Program, or a prevention
2initiative or a public elementary, middle, or secondary school
3in this State that, based on data compiled by the State Board
4of Education in conjunction with the Board of Higher Education,
5serves a substantial percentage of low-income students, as
6defined by the Board of Higher Education.
7    "Hard-to-staff teaching position" means a teaching
8category (such as special education, bilingual education,
9mathematics, or science) in which statewide data compiled by
10the State Board of Education in conjunction with the Board of
11Higher Education indicates a multi-year pattern of substantial
12teacher shortage or that has been identified as a critical need
13by the local school board.
14    "Initiative" means the Grow Your Own Teacher Education
15Initiative created under this Act.
16    "Para educator" means an individual with a history of
17demonstrated accomplishments in school staff positions (such
18as teacher assistants, school-community liaisons, school
19clerks, and security aides) in schools that meet the definition
20of a hard-to-staff school under this Section.
21    "Parent and community leader" means an individual who has
22or had a child enrolled in a school or schools that meet the
23definition of a hard-to-staff school under this Section and who
24has a history of active involvement in the school or who has a
25history of working to improve schools serving a substantial
26percentage of low-income students, including membership in a



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1community organization.
2    "Program" means a Grow Your Own Teacher preparation program
3established by a consortium under this Act.
4    "Schools serving a substantial percentage of low-income
5students" means schools that maintain any of grades
6pre-kindergarten through 8, in which at least 35% of the
7students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches
8and schools that maintain any of grades 9 through 12, in which
9at least 25% of the students are eligible to receive free or
10reduced price lunches.
11(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
12    (110 ILCS 48/15)
13    Sec. 15. Creation of Initiative. The Grow Your Own Teacher
14Education Initiative is created. Grow Your Own Illinois The
15Board of Higher Education shall administer the Initiative as a
16grant competition to fund consortia that will carry out Grow
17Your Own Teacher preparation programs.
18(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
19    (110 ILCS 48/20)
20    Sec. 20. Selection of grantees. The Board of Higher
21Education shall, subject to appropriation, allocate funds to
22Grow Your Own Illinois for the purpose of administering the
23program and awarding award grants as needed to qualified
24consortia that reflect the distribution and diversity of



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1hard-to-staff schools and hard-to-staff positions across this
2State. In awarding grants, Grow Your Own Illinois the Board of
3Higher Education shall select programs that successfully
4address Initiative criteria and that reflect a diversity of
5strategies in terms of serving urban areas, serving rural
6areas, the nature of the participating institutions of higher
7education, and the nature of hard-to-staff schools and
8hard-to-staff teaching positions on which a program is focused.
9    Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher Education shall
10select, manage, and oversee consortia that meet the following
12        (1) A consortium shall be composed of at least one
13    4-year institution of higher education with an Illinois
14    approved teacher preparation program, at least one school
15    district or group of schools, and one or more community
16    organizations. The consortium membership may also include
17    a 2-year institution of higher education, a school employee
18    union, or a regional office of education.
19        (2) The 4-year institution of higher education
20    participating in the consortium shall have past,
21    demonstrated success in preparing teachers for elementary
22    or secondary schools serving a substantial percentage of
23    low-income students.
24        (3) The consortium shall focus on a clearly defined set
25    of eligible schools that will participate in the program.
26    The consortium shall articulate the steps that it will



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1    carry out in preparing teachers for its participating
2    schools and in preparing teachers for one or more
3    hard-to-staff teaching positions in those schools.
4        (4) The consortium shall recruit potential candidates
5    for the program and shall take into consideration when
6    selecting a candidate whether the candidate:
7            (A) holds a high school diploma or its equivalent
8        or is a high school student enrolled in a dual credit
9        course offered by a participating institution of
10        higher education;
11            (B) meets either the definition of "parent and
12        community leader" or the definition of "para educator"
13        contained in Section 10 of this Act;
14            (C) (blank); has experienced an interruption in
15        his or her college education;
16            (D) exhibits a willingness to be a teacher in a
17        hard-to-staff school with the goal of maintaining
18        academic excellence;
19            (E) shows an interest in postsecondary education
20        and may hold an associate's degree, a bachelor's
21        degree, or another postsecondary degree, but a
22        postsecondary education is not required;
23            (F) is a parent, a para educator, a community
24        leader, or any other individual from a community with a
25        hard-to-staff school;
26            (G) commits to completing and passing all State



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1        standards, including the licensure test to obtain an
2        educator license;
3            (H) shows a willingness to set high standards of
4        performance for himself or herself and students; and
5            (I) demonstrates commitment to the program by:
6                (i) maintaining a cumulative grade point
7            average of at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or the
8            equivalent as determined by the Board of Higher
9            Education);
10                (ii) attending monthly cohort meetings; and
11                (iii) applying for financial aid from all
12            other financial aid resources before applying for
13            assistance from the program.
14        (5) The consortium shall employ effective procedures
15    for teaching the skills and knowledge needed to prepare
16    highly competent teachers. Professional preparation shall
17    include on-going direct experience in target schools and
18    evaluation of this experience.
19        (6) The consortium shall offer the program to cohorts
20    of candidates, as defined in Section 10 of this Act, on a
21    schedule that enables candidates to work full time while
22    participating in the program and allows para educators to
23    continue in their current positions. In any fiscal year in
24    which an appropriation for the Initiative is made, the
25    consortium shall guarantee that support will be available
26    to an admitted cohort for the cohort's education for that



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1    fiscal year. At the beginning of the Initiative, programs
2    that are already operating and existing cohorts of
3    candidates under this model shall be eligible for funding.
4        (7) The institutions of higher education participating
5    in the consortium shall document and agree to expend the
6    same amount of funds in implementing the program that these
7    institutions spend per student on similar educational
8    programs. Grants received by the consortium shall
9    supplement and not supplant these amounts.
10        (8) Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher
11    Education shall establish and oversee additional criteria
12    for review of proposals, including criteria that address
13    the following issues:
14            (A) Previous experience of the institutions of
15        higher education in preparing candidates for
16        hard-to-staff schools and positions and in working
17        with students with non-traditional backgrounds.
18            (B) The quality of the implementation plan,
19        including strategies for overcoming institutional
20        barriers to the progress of non-traditional
21        candidates.
22            (C) If a community college is a participant, the
23        nature and extent of existing articulation agreements
24        and guarantees between the community college and the
25        4-year institution of higher education.
26            (D) The number of candidates to be educated in the



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1        planned cohort or cohorts and the capacity of the
2        consortium for adding cohorts in future cycles.
3            (E) Experience of the community organization or
4        organizations in organizing parents and community
5        leaders to achieve school improvement and a strong
6        relational school culture.
7            (F) The qualifications of the person or persons
8        designated by the 4-year institution of higher
9        education to be responsible for cohort support and the
10        development of a shared learning and social
11        environment among candidates.
12            (G) The consortium's plan for collective
13        consortium decision-making, involving all consortium
14        members, including mechanisms for candidate input.
15            (H) The consortium's plan for direct impact of the
16        program on the quality of education in the eligible
17        schools.
18            (I) The relevance of the curriculum to the needs of
19        the eligible schools and positions, and the use in
20        curriculum and instructional planning of principles
21        for effective education for adults.
22            (J) The availability of classes under the program
23        in places and times accessible to the candidates.
24            (K) Provision of a level of performance to be
25        maintained by candidates as a condition of continuing
26        in the program.



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1            (L) The plan of the 4-year institution of higher
2        education to ensure that candidates take advantage of
3        existing financial aid resources before using the loan
4        funds described in Section 25 of this Act.
5            (M) The availability of supportive services,
6        including, but not limited to, counseling, tutoring,
7        transportation, technology and technology support, and
8        child care.
9            (N) A plan for continued participation of
10        graduates of the program in a program of support for at
11        least 2 years, including mentoring and group meetings.
12            (O) A plan for testing and qualitative evaluation
13        of candidates' teaching skills that ensures that
14        graduates of the program are as prepared for teaching
15        as other individuals completing the institution of
16        higher education's preparation program for the
17        certificate sought.
18            (P) A plan for internal evaluation that provides
19        reports at least yearly on the progress of candidates
20        towards graduation and the impact of the program on the
21        target schools and their communities.
22            (Q) Contributions from schools, school districts,
23        and other consortia members to the program, including
24        stipends for candidates during their student teaching.
25            (R) Consortium commitment for sustaining the
26        program over time, as evidenced by plans for reduced



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1        requirements for external funding, in subsequent
2        cycles.
3            (S) The inclusion in the planned program of
4        strategies derived from community organizing that will
5        help candidates develop tools for working with parents
6        and other community members.
7    Subject to the requirements under the Dual Credit Quality
8Act, a participating institution of higher education may offer
9a high school student a dual credit course under the program.
10    The Board of Higher Education may not adopt rules regarding
11candidate eligibility that are more restrictive than this
13(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
14    (110 ILCS 48/25)
15    Sec. 25. Expenditures under the Initiative.
16    (a) Every program under the Initiative shall implement a
17program of forgivable loans to cover any portion of tuition,
18books, and fees of candidates under the program in excess of
19the candidates' grants-in-aid. All students admitted to a
20cohort shall be eligible for a forgivable student loan. Loans
21shall be fully forgiven if a graduate completes 5 years of
22service in hard-to-staff schools or hard-to-staff teaching
23positions, with partial forgiveness for shorter periods of
24service. Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher Education
25shall establish standards for the approval of requests for



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1waivers or deferrals from individuals to waive this obligation
2and . The Board of Higher Education shall also define standards
3for the fiscal management of these loan funds.
4    (b) Grow Your Own Illinois The Board of Higher Education
5shall award grants under the Initiative in such a way as to
6provide the required support for a cohort of candidates for any
7fiscal year in which an appropriation for the Initiative is
8made. Program budgets must show expenditures and needed funds
9for the entire period that candidates are expected to be
11    (c) No funds under the Initiative may be used to supplant
12the average per-capita expenditures by the institution of
13higher education for candidates.
14    (d) Where necessary, program budgets shall include the
15costs of child care and other indirect expenses, such as
16transportation, tutoring, technology, and technology support,
17necessary to permit candidates to maintain their class
18schedules. Grant funds may be used by any member of a
19consortium to offset such costs, and the services may be
20provided by the community organization or organizations, by any
21other member of the consortium, or by independent contractors.
22    (e) The institution of higher education may expend grant
23funds to cover the additional costs of offering classes in
24community settings and for tutoring services.
25    (f) The community organization or organizations may
26receive a portion of the grant money for the expenses of



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1recruitment, community orientation, and counseling of
2potential candidates, for providing space in the community, and
3for working with school personnel to facilitate individual work
4experiences and support of candidates.
5    (g) The school district or school employee union or both
6may receive a portion of the grant money for expenses of
7supporting the work experiences of candidates and providing
8mentors for graduates. Notwithstanding the provisions of
9Section 10-20.15 of the School Code, school districts may also
10use these or other applicable public funds to pay participants
11in programs under the Initiative for student teaching required
12by an accredited teacher preparation program.
13    (h) One or more members of the consortium may expend funds
14to cover the salary of a site-based cohort coordinator.
15    (i) Grant funds may also be expended to pay directly for
16required developmental classes for candidates beginning a
18(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
19    (110 ILCS 48/30)
20    Sec. 30. Implementation of Initiative. Grow Your Own
21Illinois The Board of Higher Education may, if it chooses,
22award and administer a small number of planning grants during
23any fiscal year to potential consortia.
24(Source: P.A. 98-1036, eff. 1-1-15.)
25    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.