I was challenged to get a substitute teacher’s certificate and then spend a hot summer day on the 3rd floor at a high school. That sounded like a very worthy challenge, so I started looking into what it takes to get a substitute teacher’s certificate. It quickly got rather depressing.
Summary of steps one has to take (assuming one does not have a teacher’s certificate):
- Application for Certificate 73‐03C
- Certificate Registration 73‐10
- Official transcripts from college in original, unopened envelope showing Bachelor’s degree ($8)
- $115.00 registration fee (for the Champaign-Ford ROE)
- Tuberculosis (TB) Test 90 days or newer (have insurance?)
- Physician’s Statement of Good Health (ditto)
- Signed Mandated Reporter Form (no clue whatsoever)
- Fingerprint Check through the ROE or results from another ROE ($60)
That’s it, easy-peasy, right? Shell out $183 and away you go. Oh, don’t forget you actually have to drive up to Rantoul so you can be fingerprinted at their police department – it doesn’t count if you have previously been fingerprinted anywhere else.
The $115 registration fee is $75 mandated by Illinois Public Act 097-0607 (SB SB1799) (sponsored chiefly by Senator Heather Steans), and $40 to “register the certificate for its validity” (just because, you know). I asked Senator Steans about the $75 fee; while the response was respectful and thorough, it did not help explain why the fee is good for constituents. Apparently there was a federal grant to establish a teacher database with an aim towards increasing the professionalism. Ironic, since the Federal grant directly resulted in higher fees.
As to why you have to drive to Rantoul to get fingerprinted, I was told that the ROE has registered an “ORI number” to a specific police department (namely, Rantoul). The explanation is that the ORI is like Santa, keeping a list if you have been naughty or nice and checking it twice.
Even after all of this, you still have to go through the Unit 4 screening process. Don’t get me wrong, I place a high value on the rigor of making sure that the adult standing in front of our children at school is safe and has a clean record. I am wondering if perhaps it would be cheaper and more palatable all-around to simply sponsor “teach-for-a-day” events. 🙂
- Certification workflow diagram: http://www.roe43.org/Word/Sub%20Teacher%20Flowchart%2012-11.pdf
- Ordering a transcript from the UofI: http://www.registrar.illinois.edu/transcripts/request_former.html
- Email with Barbara Keil of the Regional Education Office (REO)
- Email with Robert Toledo of Senator Steans’ office
- July 2011 Jodi Heckel article about changes: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2011-07-05/rules-change-substitute-teachers.html
- Public Act 097-0607: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/97/097-0607.htm
- SB 1799 Status: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=1799&GAID=11&SessionID=84&LegID=57853