Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 094-0979
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Public Act 094-0979




Public Act 094-0979
SB2235 Enrolled LRB094 18103 RAS 53408 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 Our Own Teacher Education Act is
amended by changing Sections 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35
as follows:
    (110 ILCS 48/1)
    Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Grow Your
Our Own Teacher Education Act.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05.)
    (110 ILCS 48/5)
    Sec. 5. Purpose. The Grow Your Our Own Teacher preparation
programs established under this Act shall comprise a major new
statewide initiative, known as the Grow Your Our 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 Our Own Teacher Education Initiative shall
effectively recruit and prepare parent and community leaders
and paraeducators to become effective teachers and teacher
leaders statewide in hard-to-staff schools 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 disability.
    The Grow Your Our Own Teacher Education Initiative shall
ensure educational rigor by effectively preparing candidates
students in accredited bachelor's degree programs in teaching,
through which graduates shall meet the requirements to secure
an Illinois initial standard teaching certificate.
    The goal of the Grow Your Our 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.)
    (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 standard 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.
     "Hard-to-staff school" means an elementary or secondary
school that, based on data compiled by the State Board of
Education, ranks in the upper third 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 annually.
     "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 Our 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
significant history of working to improve involvement in
improving schools serving a substantial percentage of
low-income students, including membership in a community
     "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 Our 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 whose percentage of students
receiving 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 is at or above the district-average percentage.
     "State Board" means the State Board of Education.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05.)
    (110 ILCS 48/15)
    Sec. 15. Creation of Initiative. The Grow Your Our Own
Teacher Education Initiative is created. The State Board shall
administer the Initiative as a grant competition to fund
consortia that will carry out Grow Your Our Own Teacher
preparation programs.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05.)
    (110 ILCS 48/20)
    Sec. 20. Selection of grantees. The State Board shall award
grants to up to 10 qualified consortia that reflect the
distribution and diversity of target 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,
whether participants will be trained at the baccalaureate or
master's level, 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 target schools serving a substantial percentage of
    low-income students that will be the primary focus of the
    program. The consortium shall articulate the steps that it
    will carry out in preparing teachers for its target
    hard-to-staff schools and in preparing teachers for one or
    more hard-to-staff teaching positions in its target
        (4) Candidate Student participants 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
    Instruction shall include on-going direct experience in
    target schools and evaluation analysis of this experience.
        (6) The consortium shall offer the program to cohorts
    of candidates students who begin by moving through the
    program together. The program shall be offered on a
    schedule that enables candidates students to work full time
    while participating in the program and allows
    paraeducators to continue in their current positions. The
    consortium shall guarantee that support will be available
    to an admitted cohort through the cohort's full period of
    training. At the beginning of the Initiative, programs that
    are already operating and existing cohorts of candidates
    students 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 students 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 candidates
            (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 participants to be
        trained in the planned current 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 participants.
            (G) The consortium's plan for collective
        consortium decision-making, including mechanisms for
        community and candidate participant input.
            (H) The consortium's plan for direct impact of the
        program on the quality of education in the target
            (I) The relevance of the curriculum to the needs of
        targeted schools and positions, and the use in
        curriculum and instructional planning of principles
        for effective education for adults adult education.
            (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 participants as a condition
        of continuing in the program.
            (L) The plan of the 4-year institution of higher
        education to ensure that candidates students take
        advantage of existing financial aid resources before
        using the loan funds described in Section 25 of this
            (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' participants' 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 those from the conventional
        teacher training program of the 4-year institution of
        higher education.
            (P) A plan for internal evaluation that provides
        reports at least yearly on the progress of candidates
        participants 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 participants 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.)
    (110 ILCS 48/25)
    Sec. 25. Expenditures under the Initiative.
    (a) Every program under the Initiative shall implement and
manage a program of forgivable loans to cover any portion of
tuition and direct expenses of candidates students 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 a hard-to-staff schools school
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 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 position.
    (b) Grants under the Initiative shall be awarded in such a
way as to provide the required support for a cohort of
candidates students for the cohort's entire training period.
Program budgets must show expenditures for the entire period
that candidates participants 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 students in regular education
degree programs.
    (d) Where necessary, program budgets shall include the
costs of child care to permit candidates parents to maintain a
full class schedule. Child care may be provided by the
community organization or organizations or be independently
contracted for.
    (e) The institution of higher education may expend grant
funds to cover the salary of a site-based cohort coordinator
and 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 participants, 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 participants 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
    (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.)
    (110 ILCS 48/30)
    Sec. 30. Implementation of Initiative. The State Board
shall develop guidelines and application procedures for the
Initiative in fiscal year 2005. The State Board may, if it
chooses, award a small number of planning grants during any
fiscal year 2005 to potential consortia using existing
resources. Other than existing cohorts, the The first programs
under the Initiative shall be awarded grants in such a way as
to allow candidates participants to begin their work at the
beginning of the 2006-2007 2005-2006 school year.
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05.)
    (110 ILCS 48/35)
    Sec. 35. Independent program evaluation. The State Board
shall contract for an independent evaluation of program
implementation by each of its participating consortia and of
the impact of each program, including the extent of candidate
student persistence in program enrollment, acceptance as an
education major in a 4-year institution of higher education,
completion of a bachelor's degree in teaching, obtaining a
teaching position in a target school or similar school,
subsequent effectiveness as a teacher, and persistence in
teaching in a target school or similar school. The evaluation
shall assess the Initiative's overall effectiveness and shall
identify particular program strategies that are especially
(Source: P.A. 93-802, eff. 1-1-05.)
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 6/30/2006