Budget proposal cuts programs to aid teacher shortage

The following statement can be attributed to Al Llorens, president of the Illinois Education Association:

At a time when Illinois is experiencing a statewide teacher shortage, it is incomprehensible that funding for vital educator support programs are absent from the current budget proposal.  Sadly, two such programs — the teacher pipeline program Educators Rising and the Illinois Virtual Instructional Coach and Mentoring Program — have been left out of this version of the budget.

Educators Rising focuses on introducing high school students to the education profession and builds the mindset and skills essential for aspiring educators to enter a quality educator preparation program.  The Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program is an essential wraparound professional support for clinicians and teachers in the first three years of their careers wherein new educators are paired with a trained virtual coach to receive support and feedback. It also provides high quality professional development and allows new teachers to access a vast content and resource library.  This ensures a higher rate of educator retention among early career educators for our state. In fact, more than 90 percent of educators in the program have been retained because of the critical support the program provides.

A budget that does not include funding for Educators Rising and the Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program is detrimental to public education, to our students, and to the future of the state of Illinois.


At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

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