The 21st Show

Teacher shortages in Illinois schools


AP Photo/Jay Reeves

In 2022, the Illinois State Board of Education reported more than 5,300 unfilled professional positions in schools across the state. In April, Gov. JB Pritzker (D-IL) signed a package of laws meant to make it easier to not only hire teachers but also keep them in classrooms. But many school districts started the Fall 2022 semester with major teacher shortages. 


Kimberly Radostits

Spanish teacher, Oregon High School | Illinois Teacher of the Year 2022

Nancy Latham

Associate Dean at the College of Education, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tonya Delaney

Junior High Science Teacher, New Berlin

Kyle Thompson

Regional Superintendent at Regional Office of Education #11 in Charleston

Corey Ackerman

5th grade teacher, Carmi-White County Unit #5

Joshua Stafford

Superintendent, Vienna High School

"I am a teacher in Champaign Schools. And as the music coordinator we had several K5 general music positions to fill. We filled them but it caused some to leave their jobs which creates a domino effect of vacancies.  If our country values teachers they should take steps to increase our pay to demonstrate the VALUE of our time and roles in society." - Abby, Urbana

"My wife is a first grade teacher in a public school. This is her last year of teaching. She loves what she does but the amount of non teaching work she has to do is overwhelming. This nation will always have a problem with holding on to teachers until we value them for all they do." - Christopher, Brimfield

"I'm retired after 30 years in education. When I started there were lots of happy kids and happy teachers. Then Springfield decided what should be taught. They also decided that testing kids was more important than lunch recess gym art music or sports. Springfield needs to focus on what kids love. Then the kids will hang around for reading math and science. Then there's the mass school shootings. It's difficult to teach unhappy scared kids.” - Franne, Hinckley