Illinois school districts report trouble filling positions

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- More than half of Illinois school districts responding to a recent survey say they're having trouble filling teaching positions. Three-quarters say they're seeing fewer qualified candidates than in previous years.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports 62 percent of the state's school districts completed a survey developed by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools.

It found rural school districts in central and northwest Illinois are having the toughest time finding qualified teachers.

Jeff Vose is regional superintendent for Sangamon and Menard counties and president of the association. He says Illinois' budget problems and the possibility of reduced public-pension benefits have likely dissuaded applicants.

Sixteen percent of responding districts reported canceling programs or classes due to teacher shortages. Special education, math and science were among the hardest hit.