HERE IS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ILLINOIS!
House Bill 4466, allowing the option of specialized
special education teacher certification, passed the Illinois House
Elementary and Secondary Education Committee on Thursday on a unanimous
It was supported by many groups (both the
IEA and IFT, the School Management Alliance, many special ed groups, etc.)
and actively opposed by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Chicago
Board of Education.
Strong comments in support were made by both
Democrats and Republicans.
Please IMMEDIATELY contact your own State Representative
either in Springfield or in their local office. Urge them to vote for House
Bill 4466 when it is voted on by the full Illinois House of Representatives.
Special Education Teacher Certification
House Bill 4466
The State Board of Education has issued new teaching
certificates to all 48,000 Illinois teachers now holding special education
endorsements or approvals. These teachers can be assigned [either
immediately or automatically within 3 years depending on whether on not
they have training and previous certification in teaching students with
two (2) specific types of disability] to students with any of seven (7)
tremendously varying types of disability no matter how severe or complex
This 7-category "Learning Behavior Specialist"
(LBS) is now the ONLY certificate a special education teacher can receive
if they wish to teach students with any one of these 7 types of disability.
Just as children need educational options,
so do special education teachers. To keep current teachers from leaving
special education, and to encourage new teachers to enter special education,
Illinois needs to offer these options.
The enactment of this proposal would clearly indicate
to the U.S. Court of Appeals the firm commitment by the Illinois General
Assembly to provide special education students the specialized teachers
they need. There has been no direct involvement by the Illinois General
Assembly to the U.S. Court of Appeals in either the Corey H. case or the
Reid L. case, which are both before the Court.
Proposal in HB 4466
Change the Teacher Certification section (Article
21) of the School Code to require the State Teacher Certification Board
to OFFER THE OPTION to teachers to receive certificates in one or more
of the specialized categories of disability (as listed in the Federal
special education law - IDEA) to current teachers holding special
education endorsements or approvals, and to also offer this option to new
The seven categories are
(1) serious emotional disturbance
(2) learning disabilities
(4) mental retardation
(5) orthopedic [physical]impairment
(6) traumatic brain injury and
(7) other health impairment.
As IDEA requires the identification of the
child's specific disability, this would align teacher training and certification
with the specific needs of the child.
Illinois must do everything possible to attempt
to retain current special education teachers, and to encourage new teachers
to enter the field. The more options that are available the more likely
that will occur. Illinois cannot allow the current situation to continue
where special education teachers are leaving the field (or not entering
it) because they feel it is impossible for them to be prepared to teach
students with seven tremendously varying types of disability at all levels