For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Pritzker Administration awards $2 million in Education Career Pathways Grants to recruit future educators

​Grants made possible by Governor Pritzker’s Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 budgets

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has awarded Career and Technical Education (CTE) Education Career Pathways Grants totaling $1,995,275 to 11 regional entities to recruit and support future educators at 62 high schools and vocational centers across the state. Students in CTE Education Career Pathways will get a head start on teacher preparation through opportunities for hands-on learning, dual credit, credentials, and mentorship.

Governor JB Pritzker's fiscal year 2020 budget included the first increase in state funding for CTE in five years, making the Education Career Pathways grant possible. Governor Pritzker's FY 2021 budget maintained this higher level of funding for CTE, ensuring sustainability for the program in its second year.

“Every student in Illinois, no matter where they live or the color of their skin or their family's income level deserves access to a high-quality education and teachers who understand their life experiences. That's why my fiscal year 2020 budget included an increase in state funding for career and technical education to recruit and train more teachers, the first increase Illinois has seen in five years," said Governor Pritzker. “Especially now as kids across the state are increasingly relying on remote learning to achieve their education goals, equipping teachers with the tools and skills they need to be successful is more important than ever."

“We have seen significant outcomes from school districts already implementing Education Career Pathways. We are excited to support the growth of this successful model across the state, especially in regions with the highest demand for teachers and in the greatest need for additional resources," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “I personally found my way into teaching after having early experiences in the classroom as a teenager. I fell in love with teaching after experiencing the magic firsthand and having access to the kind of mentorship, encouragement, and hands-on learning that Education Career Pathways provide."

A 2018 survey conducted by ACT found that only 5 percent of test takers indicated they were interested in teaching as a profession. However, researchers suggested that students might change their minds if they had an early experience with teaching and direct paths into the profession. Fifty percent of teachers in Illinois teach in the same county in which they graduated from high school, highlighting that local pathways into the profession can diversify the teaching corps and strengthen the local teacher pipelines.

Illinois' 58 Education for Employment (EFE) systems provide leadership for the state's CTE program areas, including Education. Grantees submitted an implementation plan outlining how they will recruit underrepresented students into education careers to help meet the high demand for teachers of color across Illinois. The grant also requires a partnership between grantees and institutions of higher education, so students can earn dual credit or credentials and certifications prior to high school graduation. 

“EFE 490 is excited for the opportunity to create, support, implement, and expand the CTE Education Career Pathway. It is our goal to prepare students for future careers in education ultimately creating a pipeline of educators," said Kelli Massie, System Director of Clay/Jasper/Richland/N Wayne Regional Delivery System (RDS).

“Students need to see themselves reflected in the adults in front of them every day," said Nancy Awdziejczyk, Executive Director of the Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS). “The Education Pathway Grant will assist the NECSS region in building and expanding our teacher preparation pathway to ensure our future classrooms reflect the changing demographics of our communities. We are excited to collaborate with other regions across the state to help address the teacher shortage."

CTE programs prepare students for both the workforce and the pursuit of postsecondary opportunities by developing students' technical and employability skills while also strengthening their core academic abilities.

Eleven EFE systems and community colleges will receive the grant to support the development of education career pathways at area high schools and vocational centers. The grantees are:

EFE System or Community CollegeSchools or Centers
Clay/Jasper/Richland/N Wayne RDS EFE System #490 – $249,000
  • North Clay High School
  • Flora High School
  • Richland County High School
  • Cisne High School
  • Newton Community High School
NW Education Council for Student Success EFE System #070 – $249,000
  • Barrington District 220
  • Wheeling High School
  • Elk Grove High School
  • Rolling Meadows High School
  • Buffalo Grove High School
  • Conant High School
  • Schaumberg High School
  • Palatine High School
  • Hoffman Estates High School

City of Chicago Public Schools EFE System #010 – $237,300

  • Curie Metropolitan High School
  • Farragut Career Academy High School
  • Lindblom Math and Science Academy
  • Simeon Career Academy

DuPage Area Occupational Education System #090 – $248,997

  • Addison Trail High School
  • Willowbrook High School
  • Downers Grove North High School
  • Downers Grove South High School
  • Lake Park High School
  • Wheaton North High School
  • Wheaton Warrenville South High School

Des Plaines Valley EFE System #030 – $66,370

  • Oak Park & River Forest High School District
  • Proviso West High School
  • Ridgewood Community High School
EFE System #330 –$85,450
  • Mahomet-Seymour High School
  • Heritage High School
  • Monticello High School
  • Rantoul Township High School
  • St. Joseph-Ogden High School
  • Tuscola High School
  • Urbana High School
  • Central High School
  • Gibson City Melvin Sibley High School
Jackson/Perry County RDS #540 – $161,988
  • Carbondale High School
  • DuQuoin High School
  • Murphysboro High School
  • Elverado High School
Delabar Vocational Education System #280 – $120,200
  • Abingdon Avon High School
  • Galesburg Area Vocational Center
  • Knoxville High School
  • Monmouth Roseville High School
  • ROWVA High School
  • United High School
  • West Central High School
  • Williamsfield High School

Three Rivers EFE System #100 – $249,000

  • Bolingbrook High School
  • Romeoville High School
  • Joliet Central High School
  • Joliet West High School
  • WILCO Area Career Center
  • GAVC Vocational Center
Richland Community College – $78,970
  • Eisenhower High School
  • MacArthur High School
Sauk Valley Community College – $249,000
  • Fulton High School
  • Morrison High School
  • Rock Falls High School
  • Dixon High School
  • Whiteside Area Career Center

Learn more about the CTE Education Career Pathways Grant and Illinois' State Plan for CTE at ​