Public Act 095-0476
SB0446 Enrolled LRB095 08870 NHT 29056 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 5. The Grow Your Own Teacher Education Act is
amended by changing Sections 5, 10, 20 and 25 as follows:
    (110 ILCS 48/5)
    Sec. 5. Purpose. The Grow Your Own Teacher preparation
programs established under this Act shall comprise a major new
statewide initiative, known as the Grow Your Own Teacher
Education Initiative, to prepare highly skilled, committed
teachers who will teach in hard-to-staff schools and
hard-to-staff teaching positions and who will remain in these
schools for substantial periods of time.
     The Grow Your Own Teacher Education Initiative shall
effectively recruit and prepare parent and community leaders
and paraeducators to become effective teachers statewide in
hard-to-staff schools serving a substantial percentage of
low-income students and hard-to-staff teaching positions in
schools serving a substantial percentage of low-income
students. Further, the Initiative shall increase the diversity
of teachers, including diversity based on race, ethnicity, and
    The Grow Your Own Teacher Education Initiative shall ensure
educational rigor by effectively preparing candidates in
accredited bachelor's degree programs in teaching, through
which graduates shall meet the requirements to secure an
Illinois initial teaching certificate.
    The goal of the Grow Your Own Teacher Education Initiative
is to add 1,000 teachers to low-income, and other hard-to-staff
Illinois schools by 2016 with an average retention period of 7
years, as opposed to the current rate of 2.5 years for new
teachers in such areas.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05; 94-979, eff. 6-30-06.)
    (110 ILCS 48/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. In this Act:
    "Accredited teacher preparation program" means a State or
regionally accredited higher education program authorized to
prepare individuals to fulfill all of the requirements to
receive an Illinois initial teaching certificate.
    "Developmental classes" means classes in basic skill
areas, such as mathematics and language arts that are
prerequisite to, but not counted towards, degree requirements
of a teacher preparation program.
    "Eligible school" means a public elementary or secondary
school in this State that serves a substantial percentage of
low-income students and that is either hard to staff or has
hard-to-staff teaching positions.
    "Hard-to-staff school" means a public school in this State
an elementary or secondary school that, based on data compiled
by the State Board of Education, ranks in the upper third among
public schools of its type (elementary, middle, or secondary)
in terms of rate of attrition of its teachers of schools in
this State on a combined index measuring the percentage of the
school's teachers who are not fully certified and the
percentage of the school's teachers who leave their positions
    "Hard-to-staff teaching position" means a teaching
category (such as special education, mathematics, or science)
in which statewide data compiled by the State Board of
Education indicates a multi-year pattern of substantial
teacher shortage or that has been identified as a critical need
by the local school board.
    "Initiative" means the Grow Your Own Teacher Education
Initiative created under this Act.
    "Paraeducators" means individuals with a history of
demonstrated accomplishments in school staff positions (such
as teacher assistants, school-community liaisons, school
clerks, and security aides) in schools serving a substantial
percentage of low-income students.
    "Parent and community leaders" means individuals with a
history of working to improve schools serving a substantial
percentage of low-income students, including membership in a
community organization.
    "Community organization" means a nonprofit organization
that has a demonstrated capacity to train, develop, and
organize parents and community leaders into a constituency that
will hold the school and the school district accountable for
achieving high academic standards; in addition to
organizations with a geographic focus, "community
organization" includes general parent organizations,
organizations of special education or bilingual education
parents, and school employee unions.
    "Program" means a Grow Your Own Teacher preparation program
established by a consortium under this Act.
    "Schools serving a substantial percentage of low-income
students" means schools that maintain any of grades
pre-kindergarten through 8, in which at least 35% of the
students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches
and schools that maintain any of grades 9 through 12, in which
at least 25% of the students are eligible to receive free or
reduced price lunches.
    "State Board" means the State Board of Education.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05; 94-979, eff. 6-30-06.)
    (110 ILCS 48/20)
    Sec. 20. Selection of grantees. The State Board shall award
grants to qualified consortia that reflect the distribution and
diversity of hard-to-staff schools and hard-to-staff positions
across this State. In awarding grants, the State Board shall
select programs that successfully address Initiative criteria
and that reflect a diversity of strategies in terms of serving
urban areas, serving rural areas, the nature of the
participating institutions of higher education, and the nature
of hard-to-staff schools and hard-to-staff teaching positions
on which a program is focused.
    The State Board shall select consortia that meet the
following requirements:
        (1) A consortium shall be composed of at least one
    4-year institution of higher education with an accredited
    teacher preparation program, at least one school district
    or group of schools, and one or more community
    organizations. The consortium may also include a 2-year
    institution of higher education or a school employee union
    or both.
        (2) The 4-year institution of higher education
    participating in the consortium shall have past,
    demonstrated success in preparing teachers for elementary
    or secondary schools serving a substantial percentage of
    low-income students.
        (3) The consortium shall focus on a clearly defined set
    of eligible target schools serving a substantial
    percentage of low-income students that will participate in
    be the primary focus of the program. The consortium shall
    articulate the steps that it will carry out in preparing
    teachers for its participating target hard-to-staff
    schools and in preparing teachers for one or more
    hard-to-staff teaching positions in those its target
        (4) A candidate Candidate in a program under the
    Initiative must hold a high school diploma or its
    equivalent and must meet either the definition of "parent
    and community leaders" or the definition of
    "paraeducators" contained in Section 10 of this Act.
        (5) The consortium shall employ effective procedures
    for teaching the skills and knowledge needed to prepare
    highly competent teachers. Professional preparation shall
    include on-going direct experience in target schools and
    evaluation of this experience.
        (6) The consortium shall offer the program to cohorts
    of candidates who begin by moving through the program
    together. The program shall be offered on a schedule that
    enables candidates to work full time while participating in
    the program and allows paraeducators to continue in their
    current positions. In any fiscal year in which an
    appropriation for the Initiative is made, the The
    consortium shall guarantee that support will be available
    to an admitted cohort for the cohort's training for that
    fiscal year through the cohort's full period of training.
    At the beginning of the Initiative, programs that are
    already operating and existing cohorts of candidates under
    this model shall be eligible for funding.
        (7) The institutions of higher education participating
    in the consortium shall document and agree to expend the
    same amount of funds in implementing the program that these
    institutions spend per student on similar educational
    programs. Grants received by the consortium shall
    supplement and not supplant these amounts.
        (8) The State Board shall establish additional
    criteria for review of proposals, including criteria that
    address the following issues:
            (A) Previous experience of the institutions of
        higher education in preparing candidates for
        hard-to-staff schools and positions and in working
        with students with non-traditional backgrounds.
            (B) The quality of the implementation plan,
        including strategies for overcoming institutional
        barriers to the progress of non-traditional
            (C) If a community college is a participant, the
        nature and extent of existing articulation agreements
        and guarantees between the community college and the
        4-year institution of higher education.
            (D) The number of candidates to be trained in the
        planned cohort or cohorts and the capacity of the
        consortium for adding cohorts in future cycles.
            (E) Experience of the community organization or
        organizations in organizing parents and community
        leaders to achieve school improvement and a strong
        relational school culture.
            (F) The qualifications of the person or persons
        designated by the 4-year institution of higher
        education to be responsible for cohort support and the
        development of a shared learning and social
        environment among candidates.
            (G) The consortium's plan for collective
        consortium decision-making, including mechanisms for
        community and candidate input.
            (H) The consortium's plan for direct impact of the
        program on the quality of education in the eligible
        target schools.
            (I) The relevance of the curriculum to the needs of
        the eligible targeted schools and positions, and the
        use in curriculum and instructional planning of
        principles for effective education for adults.
            (J) The availability of classes under the program
        in places and times accessible to the candidates.
            (K) Provision of a level of performance to be
        maintained by candidates as a condition of continuing
        in the program.
            (L) The plan of the 4-year institution of higher
        education to ensure that candidates take advantage of
        existing financial aid resources before using the loan
        funds described in Section 25 of this Act.
            (M) The availability of supportive services,
        including counseling, tutoring, and child care.
            (N) A plan for continued participation of
        graduates of the program in a program of support for at
        least 2 years, including mentoring and group meetings.
            (O) A plan for testing and qualitative evaluation
        of candidates' teaching skills that ensures that
        graduates of the program are as prepared for teaching
        as other individuals completing the institution of
        higher education's preparation program for the
        certificate sought.
            (P) A plan for internal evaluation that provides
        reports at least yearly on the progress of candidates
        towards graduation and the impact of the program on the
        target schools and their communities.
            (Q) Contributions from schools, school districts,
        and other consortia members to the program, including
        stipends for candidates during their student teaching.
            (R) Consortium commitment for sustaining the
        program over time, as evidenced by plans for reduced
        requirements for external funding in subsequent
            (S) The inclusion in the planned program of
        strategies derived from community organizing that will
        help candidates develop tools for working with parents
        and other community members.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05; 94-979, eff. 6-30-06.)
    (110 ILCS 48/25)
    Sec. 25. Expenditures under the Initiative.
    (a) Every program under the Initiative shall implement a
program of forgivable loans to cover any portion of tuition and
direct expenses of candidates under the program in excess of
grants-in-aid and other forgivable loans received. All
students admitted to a cohort shall be eligible for such loans.
Loans shall be fully forgiven if a graduate completes 5 years
of service in hard-to-staff schools or hard-to-staff teaching
positions, with partial forgiveness for shorter periods of
service. The State Board shall establish standards for the
approval of requests for waivers or deferrals of from programs
to waive this obligation for individual candidates and for
deferral of repayment for work interruptions after
certification. The State Board shall also define standards for
the fiscal management of these loan funds.
    (b) Grants under the Initiative shall be awarded in such a
way as to provide the required support for a cohort of
candidates for any fiscal year in which an appropriation for
the Initiative is made the cohort's entire training period.
Program budgets must show expenditures and needed funds for the
entire period that candidates are expected to be enrolled.
    (c) No funds under the Initiative may be used to supplant
the average per-capita expenditures by the institution of
higher education for candidates.
    (d) Where necessary, program budgets shall include the
costs of child care and other indirect expenses, such as
transportation, tutoring, technology, and technology support,
that are necessary to permit candidates to maintain their a
full class schedules schedule. Grant funds may be used by any
member of a consortium to offset such costs, whether the needed
services are Child care may be provided by the community
organization or organizations, are provided by another member
of the consortium, or are be independently contracted for.
    (e) The institution of higher education may expend grant
funds to cover the additional costs of offering classes in
community settings and for tutoring services.
    (f) The community organization or organizations may
receive a portion of the grant money for the expenses of
recruitment, community orientation, and counseling of
potential candidates, for providing space in the community, and
for working with school personnel to facilitate individual work
experiences and support of candidates.
    (g) The school district or school employee union or both
may receive a portion of the grant money for expenses of
supporting the work experiences of candidates and providing
mentors for graduates. Notwithstanding the provisions of
Section 10-20.15 of the School Code, school districts may also
use these or other applicable public funds to pay participants
in programs under the Initiative for student teaching required
by an accredited teacher preparation program.
    (h) One member of the consortium may expend funds to cover
the salary of a site-based cohort coordinator.
    (i) Grant funds may also be expended to pay directly for
required developmental classes for candidates beginning a
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05; 94-979, eff. 6-30-06.)