Illinois is experiencing a teacher shortage, and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is working to ensure that the state has an effective, diverse teaching corps to staff all K–12 classrooms. Key challenges affecting the Illinois teacher pipeline include a decrease in the number of teacher preparation program completers, lack of diversity in the teaching candidate pool, subject areas with growing demand, and recruitment of new teachers in Chicago and rural areas.
To support this work to build an effective, diverse teacher workforce, the Region 9 Comprehensive Center (R9CC) is collaborating with ISBE to use its strategic planning process to align and continuously improve statewide efforts for recruitment, retention, and recognition of effective teachers. In 2019–20, R9CC is supporting ISBE staff as they identify existing and planned initiatives to address the teacher shortage as well as the key local and state leaders who support these initiatives. The project is also analyzing data to examine potential areas of alignment between teacher recruitment and retention initiatives, including improving diversity in the teacher workforce. As a result, ISBE will develop an aligned statewide plan for recruiting, retaining, and recognizing a diverse teacher workforce across Illinois and be prepared to implement the plan with a continuous improvement process.