Plan to Pay Student Teachers in Illinois Proposed

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A bill in Illinois that aims to support student teachers financially is under review. Proposed by Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, House Bill 4652 could lead to a big change in support for student teachers. The bill hopes to relieve some of the financial pressure on teacher students and incentivize more individuals to choose education as a career path, addressing the ongoing lack of teachers in the state.

Key Details of House Bill 4652

The suggested bill includes several important points,

  • Payment for Student Teachers, Qualifying student teachers could get $10,000 per semester for two back-to-back semesters.
  • Pay for Cooperating Teachers, Teachers supervising student teachers could get $2,000 per semester at the same time.
  • Program Management, The Illinois Board of Higher Education would manage the program and control how money is distributed.
  • Costs of the Program, to run this program it is estimated it would cost about $68 million.

Goals of the Program

Rep. Hernandez explained why this program is necessary and stressed how internships for teaching students were not paid and required many hours. “They work many hours on this internship which they don’t get paid for and receive nothing from,” said Hernandez. “This program could help them.”

The House approved the bill on May 14 and it’s now going to be looked at by Senate, but whether or not lawmakers will give enough funding determines if it will succeed.


Financial Obstacles and Legal Challenges

Funding for this pay for student teachers plan is still unknown even though the House approved it. Its start depends on funds in the budget, which makes it more difficult. Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, expressed doubts during the House discussions and called the proposal an “empty promise” that could bring about a “false hope.”

Crespo, who backed the law, stressed that budgeting for new initiatives needs wider planning. He said, “Creating a line item puts pressure on the budget and creates an empty promise that just brings false hope.”


Comparing to Other States

The proposal could put Illinois in line with nine other states with paid student teaching initiatives. As prior social studies teacher, Rep. Laura Faver Dias stated these aids are crucial. She mentioned many teaching students really struggle to finish internship periods which prevents them from receiving their license.


Program Expenses

This initiative’s $68 million forecasted annual cost presents significant challenge. This potential financial obligation concerns law makers considering other unfunded projects. For instance, last Spring saw approval of laws offering free breakfast and lunch facilities for all school students but didn’t fund them.


Implications for State Budget

There is no allocation for student teacher stipends or other recent educational aid like free lunches in Governor J.B Pritzker’s anticipated budget for next fiscal year. Concurrently lobbying is on by different concerned groups asking for additional funding including a campaign requesting $209 million addition to free school meals next year budget.


Reactions from Education Sector

Brett Montalbano supports this pay program. He is studying teaching at National Louis University and also works as a Teaching Assistant. “Studying takes time and students miss out on potential earnings”


Next stages

Now the bill waits for Senate’s decision. Its approval might encourage other states looking for answer to teacher’s deficit. The truth is there are no guarantees in funding hence the future of this program remains unsure.


In a nutshell

  • House Bill 4652 hopes to introduce a pay program for teacher students in Illinois.
  • Financial Assistance, Teacher students could get $10,000 per semester and supervising teachers $2,000 per semester.
  • Cost of Program, it might cost around $68 million per year
  • Legal Hurdles, Availability of required funds will determine success of the program.
  • Initiatives Elsewhere, Putting Illinois on par with other states offering paid teaching programs.
  • Implication on Budget, Possible extra pressure on state budget calls for good financial planning



The suggested program attracted support and had potential solution to overcome deficiency of teachers in Illinois, but it indeed faces significant financial challenges. The result will depend on if lawmakers can arrange funds needed to turn this suggestion into reality.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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