Education Career Pathway Grants prepare over 10,000 future teachers in Illinois


The Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) is preparing 10,805 future teachers in high schools statewide through the Education Career Pathways Grants initiative. It aims to increase the diversity of the state’s teacher workforce by providing an educational experience for students of all backgrounds.

In pathway programs, 45% of students identify as Black or Hispanic compared to just 14% of the state’s current faculty.

A total of 171 Illinois high schools now offer Education Career Pathways. This includes high schools in Mercer County, Prophetstown and United.

Since the program’s launch in 2020, ISBE has released a total of $18 million in Education Career Pathways Grants through three rounds of funding.

Education Career Pathways give students a head start on teacher preparation through hands-on learning, double credit, certification, and mentorship opportunities. The program also allows school districts to recruit future educators and prepare them to address local shortages.

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Initiatives like ISBE have led to a 41% increase in student enrollment in education readiness programs in Illinois.

Still, Illinois schools reported 2,139 teaching positions vacant in October 2021. This is focused on under-resourced communities as well as bilingual and special education.

“I found my way into teaching after someone encouraged me and gave me the opportunity to experience the magic of education firsthand. It can be intriguing, and that’s what Education Career Pathways offers: “Young people in Illinois are diverse, multilingual, and passionate about shaping the future. A great candidate to strengthen and continue to expand our pipeline, the Education Career Pathway is a great opportunity for future teachers to kick-start their careers.”

Attending students also have the opportunity to participate in Educators Rising, a career and technical student organization that offers leadership development activities and competitions nationwide.

Thanks to initiatives like ISBE, the state has increased student enrollment in educational readiness programs by 41%.

Still, Illinois schools reported 2,139 teaching positions vacant in October 2021. This is focused on under-resourced communities as well as bilingual and special education.

ISBE plans to release the next round of Education Career Pathway Grants in early 2023.

In his second inaugural address, Governor JB Pritzker called for Illinois to become the ninth state to ban assault weapons.





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