Report: Illinois Producing Too Many Elementary Teachers

A new report says Illinois is making too many teachers for too few spots.

Nearly 10-thousand elementary education students graduated from Illinois universities three years ago.

However, Illinois schools were only looking to hire a thousand teachers.

Stephen Sawchuk is with Education Week, which tracks school-related issues across the country.

SAWCHUK: “We do hear this anecdotally from superintendents. They will have 100, 200 applications for an elementary teaching job, whereas they don’t have enough applicants for some of the other positions.”

He says those “other positions” could be key to solving this problem in Illinois, as the state needs more math and science teachers.

Sawchuk acknowledges his report isn’t perfect.

SAWCHUK: “The distribution of teachers is not even. So, even when you have presumably enough teachers to fill all the slots in the state, there’s going to be rural areas that are still going to have a hard time attracting new talent there.”

Sawchuk also says not every graduate becomes certified,  and Illinois doesn’t track teachers who find jobs in other states.

— Chris Slaby

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