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Proposed bill to offer more financial aid to Illinois college students

More teachers are needed in Illinois, 1,748 teaching jobs are unfilled for the 2019 school year, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

A bill is looking to offer some college students extra financial aid, if they agree to teach in Illinois for three years after graduation.

It would be through MAP (Monetary Award Program) Grant Funds and low-income students can qualify for the funds.

In the agreement, students would have to stay an additional year in college after receiving a bachelors degree or a state-approved educator prep program.

Quincy University Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Julia Auch says creative ways are needed to attract people to teaching and the MAP Grants could provide a big benefit.

“More is always better, we have a lot of students who in an effort to learn as much as they can about the field, and certainly to make them more marketable, they often seen what we call a dual licensure route.”

Missouri native Taylor Ludwick, is pursuing an education degree at QU and said the grant could be a provide some much needed relief.

“I think if we get more money, to get more money to help all of us pay for college, this college because it’s not exactly the cheapest and college in general isn’t cheap, so as much money as we can get we are very grateful for it,” Ludwick said.

The bill passed nearly unanimously in the senate earlier this year. But people against the measure feel the money in that bill should go toward undergraduate student rather than post-grad programs.

Also, under the proposed bill, if the teacher decides to leave Illinois before completing the three years of teaching in Illinois, they must repay the grant money.

To read more on the bill click here.

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Drew Brown

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