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Joyce plan to address Illinois teacher shortage passes Senate

To eliminate the teacher shortage in Illinois, state Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) advanced a plan out of the Senate Friday to increase the number of hours a retired teacher may work without impairing their retirement status.

“The teacher shortage in Illinois predated COVID-19, and as we see more school districts return to in-person learning, some will be faced with challenges in hiring substitute teachers,” Joyce said. “This legislation will ensure schools have the most qualified professionals to teach our children.”

Currently, Illinois law allows retired teachers to substitute teach for up to 120 days or 600 hours without jeopardizing their retirement status. Because retired teachers often return to work as substitute teachers, Joyce’s initiative would create a yearly, rather than lifetime limit: Retired teachers could substitute teach for 100 days or 500 hours each school year beginning July 1, 2023.

“The time is now to address the teacher shortage in Illinois,” Joyce said. “This legislation will allow school districts to increase the pool of qualified substitute teachers while allowing former teachers to maintain their retirement status.”


Senate Bill 1989 cleared the Senate and advances to the House for further consideration.

Joyce’s district includes Flossmoor and part of Homewood.

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