Governor ends basic skills testing for teachers

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation he says will remove a barrier for teacher candidates and help address a statewide shortage of teachers.

The new law eliminates a requirement that teacher candidates pass a test of basic skills to get an educator license.

Supporters say the test is unnecessary because admission to a teacher preparation program already demonstrates that candidates have basic academic skills. It also required candidates to demonstrate skills that weren’t related to the grade or subject they intended to teach. The test cost more than $60.

The Illinois State Board of Education said there were more than 1,400 unfilled classroom positions at the start of the last school year.

Federal agency declares statewide agricultural disaster

SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared an agriculture disaster in all 102 Illinois counties, citing historic flooding across the state this year.

The declaration will allow farmers that experienced extreme delays in spring planting to access federal funds to aid their recovery efforts.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan said the disaster declaration is recognition of the extreme weather conditions state farmers faced.

Illinois saw one of the wettest springs in state history resulting in delays in getting corn and soybean crops planted.

Mother sues police departments after son shot in raid

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago mother is suing two police departments, claiming a SWAT team officer shot her son during a raid of her home earlier this year.

The lawsuit asserts that during the raid in May, officers handcuffed Crystal Worship’s 13-year-old son and one officer pointed an automatic rifle at her 12-year-old son. According to the lawsuit, the 12-year-old was sitting on his bed in his family’s Markham home with his hands in the air when he was shot in the knee.

Plaintiff’s attorney Al Hofeld said Thursday he couldn’t say why officers from Richton Park and Country Club Hills were involved in the Markham raid.

Hofeld said Worship’s boyfriend was arrested for illegal drug possession, but the charges were later dropped

The Associated Press

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