A recent report has shown Illinois is in the midst of a severe teacher shortage, particularly in the central part of the state. A panel of lawmakers took testimony on that topic today.
In the first of a series of such hearings, a committee heard from the agency responsible for licensing teachers, and from various teacher unions. But several lawmakers on the panel are former school teachers, and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) wasn't shy about sharing her personal opinion on why the ranks of teachers is dwindling.
For almost eight minutes, she detailed the increasing demands and decreasing prestige of the profession, including the fact teachers don't get Social Security.
"And this great, esteemed building spends every day figuring out how they can take their pension away, even though this esteemed building didn't pay into the pension going back all the way to Governor Edgar," she said.
A bill filed earlier this month would set a minimum salary of $40,000 dollars for teachers. More than 500 districts across Illinois have a starting salary set below that amount.