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110 ILCS 947/65.20

    (110 ILCS 947/65.20)
    Sec. 65.20. Science-mathematics teacher scholarships.
    (a) The Commission may annually award a number of scholarships, not to exceed 200, to persons holding valid teaching certificates issued under Article 21 of the School Code. Such scholarships shall be issued to teachers who make application to the Commission and who agree to take courses at qualified institutions of higher learning that will prepare them to teach science or mathematics at the secondary school level.
    (b) Scholarships awarded under this Section shall be issued pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Commission; provided that no rule or regulation promulgated by the State Board of Education prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1993 pursuant to the exercise of any right, power, duty, responsibility or matter of pending business transferred from the State Board of Education to the Commission under this Section shall be affected thereby, and all such rules and regulations shall become the rules and regulations of the Commission until modified or changed by the Commission in accordance with law. In awarding scholarships, the Commission shall give priority to those teachers with the greatest amount of seniority within school districts.
    (c) Each scholarship shall be utilized by its holder for the payment of tuition at any qualified institution of higher learning. Such tuition shall be available only for courses that will enable the teacher to be certified to teach science or mathematics at the secondary school level. The Commission, in consultation with the State Teacher Certification Board, shall determine which courses are eligible for tuition payments under this Section.
    (d) The Commission shall make tuition payments directly to the qualified institution of higher learning which the teacher attends for the courses prescribed or may make payments to the teacher. Any teacher who receives payments and who fails to enroll in the courses prescribed shall refund the payments to the Commission.
    (e) Following the completion of the program of study, the teacher must accept employment within 2 years in a secondary school in Illinois within 60 miles of the teacher's residence to teach science or mathematics; provided, however, that the teacher instead may elect to accept employment within such 2 year period to teach science or mathematics in a secondary school in Illinois which is more than 60 miles from the teacher's residence. Teachers who fail to comply with this provision shall refund all of the scholarship awarded to the Commission, whether payments were made directly to the institutions of higher learning or to the teachers, and this condition shall be agreed to in writing by all scholarship recipients at the time the scholarship is awarded. No teacher shall be required to refund tuition payments if his or her failure to obtain employment as a mathematics or science teacher in a secondary school is the result of financial conditions within school districts. The rules and regulations promulgated as provided in this Section shall include provisions regarding the waiving and deferral of such payments.
    (f) The Commission, with the cooperation of the State Board of Education, shall assist teachers who have participated in the scholarship program established by this Section in finding employment to teach science or mathematics at the secondary level.
    (g) This Section is substantially the same as Section 30-4b of the School Code, which Section is repealed by this amendatory Act of 1993, and shall be construed as a continuation of the science-mathematics teacher scholarship program established by that prior law, and not as a new or different science-mathematics teacher scholarship program. The State Board of Education shall transfer to the Commission, as the successor to the State Board of Education for all purposes of administering and implementing the provisions of this Section, all books, accounts, records, papers, documents, contracts, agreements, and pending business in any way relating to the science-mathematics teacher scholarship program continued under this Section; and all scholarships at any time awarded under that program by, and all applications for any such scholarships at any time made to, the State Board of Education shall be unaffected by the transfer to the Commission of all responsibility for the administration and implementation of the science-mathematics teacher scholarship program continued under this Section. The State Board of Education shall furnish to the Commission such other information as the Commission may request to assist it in administering this Section.
    (h) Appropriations for the scholarships outlined in this Section shall be made to the Commission from funds appropriated by the General Assembly.
    (i) For the purposes of this Section:
    "Qualified institution of higher learning" means the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, and the public community colleges subject to the Public Community College Act.
    "Secondary school level" means grades 9 through 12 or a portion of such grades.
(Source: P.A. 88-228; 88-670, eff. 12-2-94; 89-4, eff. 1-1-96.)