The Illinois Senate has approved legislation filed by State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) to make it easier for schools to recruit good teachers, by helping ease the transition for teachers making the jump from private to public schools.
“If a private school teacher is considering making the switch to a public school, they have to take a hit on their retirement, which could discourage them from making the jump,” said Senator McClure. “Our schools are already struggling with a statewide teacher shortage, and this issue is just one more thing that can make it hard to find and hire teachers.”
Private school teachers aren’t part of the state’s pension program. When they move to a public school, they will likely lose benefits in whatever private retirement program they had before, and their prior years of private school teaching won’t count toward their new state pension. This creates a financial disincentive for teachers considering making the switch.
McClure’s legislation, Senate Bill 1646, would allow teachers to pay into the system to cover both the employee and employer pension contributions, plus the actuarially assumed rate of interest, for up to two years of private teaching. It also requires that their previous private school was certified by the Illinois State Board of Education. Teachers would have until June 30, 2023 to take advantage of the program.
“This bill would help public schools to recruit new teachers, and it would cost little to nothing to the taxpayers,” said McClure.
SB3027 passed the Senate and is now headed to the House for consideration in that chamber.