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Bilingual Teachers

New Emergency Rules for Bilingual Education Assignability: ISBE has fielded numerous questions regarding lack of licensed bilingual education teachers for the upcoming school year. Individuals’ inability to receive licensure has centered around that fact that many licensure testing centers, which are operating at partial capacity and only offer the target language proficiency tests a few times per year, have no available testing slots for the remainder of this summer and into the fall. This prevents educators from taking the requisite test to receive licensure prior to the start of the school year.


ISBE has enacted emergency rules to enable districts to employ individuals as bilingual educators this fall. Any licensed individual with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university may serve as a bilingual educator in the 2020-21 school year if the hiring district confirms writing, grammar skills, and speaking proficiency in the target language and English via an interview.


A school district employing an individual who meets these requirements must, no later than 10 days after employing the individual, file this assurance form with its Regional Office of Education indicating that the individual meets these criteria. An individual who is assigned as a bilingual education teacher under these provisions may continue to serve in that role until the completion of the 2020-21 school year. The individual must receive the proper license or endorsement prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year if the individual will be continuing his or her position that year.


These emergency provisions expire December 17, 2020. Therefore, any individual assigned under this emergency allowance must be assigned to his or her position before December 17, 2020. No educators may be assigned to new bilingual education positions after this date unless they are properly licensed.