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SPRINGFIELD – To help alleviate the nationwide teacher shortage, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) supported the passage of a package of legislative measures to help recruit substitute teachers, teacher assistants and support educators in the classroom.

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, there are more than 4,000 unfilled positions in schools. Hastings believes a multifaceted approach is necessary to address the void.

“Like most states across the nation, Illinois is facing a teacher shortage,” Hastings said. “It is vital that we work with our schools administrators and teachers to help recruit and retrain staff to help educate and mentor the future leaders of our great state.”

Hastings supported the following legislative measures:

  • Senate Bill 3915 – Would waive the application fee for short-term substitute teaching licensees when the governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency.
  • Senate Bill 3988 – Would lower the age requirement for teacher assistants from 19 to 18 for those who work in pre-K to eighth grade classrooms.
  • Senate Bill 3907 – Would allow short-term substitute teachers to teach up to 15 consecutive days instead of five for any one licensed teacher under contract in a school district. Additionally, if a teacher is absent for longer than six days, a school district would be able to hire a person holding a short-term teaching license if it is during a period of time in which the governor has declared a public health emergency.
  • Senate Bill 3914 – Would allow teachers to use two of their days as mental health days, and that if a teacher needs three or more mental health days, the school district would require a note from a mental health professional.

“Our state’s education system serves as a foundation of our children’s success,” Hastings said. “We are fortunate to have teachers in our local schools that work countless hours to provide students with the possibility for a better future. It is critical that we work toward giving educators the support and recognition that they deserve for the important work they do.”

These legislative measures passed the Senate with bipartisan support and are in the House of Representatives for further consideration

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) helped pass a measure to provide relief to teachers purchasing school supplies for their classrooms.

Hastings is a chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1143, which creates a tax credit to help educators cover the cost of out-of-pocket classroom expenses such as books, school supplies, notebooks and computer equipment up to $300, beginning in taxable year 2023.

“Our educators work tirelessly to prioritize the success of our children,’ Hastings said. “At times unfortunately, that means they need to pay out-of-pocket expenses to ensure students have the tools to learn and grow. While we work to end this crisis, it is essential we support our educators.”

Purchases often include professional development books, office supplies, tissues, art supplies, snacks for students who don't have food at home, and clothing.

During Hastings’ time in the Senate, the state has increased its investment in funding schools across the state.  He believes the key to Illinois being successful is providing the students of the 19th District the opportunity to be succeed.

“Teachers spending their own money has gone on for way too long,” Hastings said. “We must continue to ensure teachers and the children of the South Suburbs have access to the tools to become and be future leaders and innovators in our great state.”

SB 1143 was approved by the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support and will now head to the House of Representatives for their consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) passed a measure to create greater access to the MIA/POW Scholarship for children of veterans.

“This measure will give aid to families that have already made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Hastings. “Helping our veterans’ children afford a college education is the least we could do to thank them for their service.”

Under Hastings’ measure, legally adopted dependents under the age of 18 at the time of adoption and step-children who were under the age of 18 at the time of marriage would be eligible for the MIA/POW Scholarship.

The scholarships would cover tuition for post-secondary education programs at state universities and public community colleges. It would also cover the cost of schooling equal to four years, including summer semesters, and could be used for application fees, placement and proficiency testing fees, term fees, and graduation fees.

“Taking care of our veterans and their families has always been a top priority of mine,” Hastings said. “We must continue to work toward assisting those who served our state and nation with honor and respect.” 

Senate Bill 3762 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Illinois SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) leads efforts in suggesting Lincoln Way North High School to become a new location for Illinois State Police officer training due to the shortage of officers.

“As a proud supporter of our police officers, I am honored to be able to hopefully provide this new location for the Illinois State Police officers to conduct their training,” Hastings said. “The state needs to enter into an agreement to bring this training facility to our region so we can help address the shortage of state police officers.”

Category: Press Releases

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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