(105 ILCS 30/2-1) (from Ch. 122, par. 2001)
Sec. 2-1. Short title. This Article may be cited as the Illinois Peace Corps Fellowship Program Law.
(Source: P.A. 86-1467.)
(105 ILCS 30/2-2) (from Ch. 122, par. 2002)
Sec. 2-2. Purpose. In the spirit of improving educational standards and providing alternative routes into teaching at public elementary and secondary schools, and in an effort to enhance and reform troubled public school systems, including but not limited to the public school systems within the City of Chicago and the City of East St. Louis, there is hereby created the Illinois Peace Corps Fellowship Program. The purpose of this program shall be: (i) to help reduce the shortage of qualified teachers at both inner-city and rural public schools by placing qualified United States Peace Corps veterans into salaried teacher aide and certificated teaching positions in underserved school districts, while at the same time providing fellowships to those former Peace Corps volunteers under cooperative agreements established between or among school districts, Illinois' public universities and colleges, the United States Peace Corps and the private sector; and (ii) to facilitate the collaboration required among such entities to effectively implement the provisions of this Article.
(Source: P.A. 86-1467.)
(105 ILCS 30/2-3) (from Ch. 122, par. 2003)
Sec. 2-3. Program description. The University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, the several universities and colleges under the governance of the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities, and the several Regency Universities under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents are hereby authorized to become participants in the Illinois Peace Corps Fellowship Program. Any such participating public institution of higher education may conduct and administer this program to augment the number of Illinois public school teachers by bringing the teaching skills of recently returned United States Peace Corps volunteers to those school districts, including the school districts situated within the City of Chicago and the City of East St. Louis or any other school district designated by the State Board of Education, which enter into cooperative agreements required for implementation of the program. In designating such school districts, the State Board of Education may consider districts that have a high proportion of drop-out students, a high percentage of minority students, a high proportion of low income families and high truancy rates. The program shall utilize former United States Peace Corps volunteers with two years of Peace Corps experience by placing them in the designated cooperating school districts as full time teachers or teacher aides. In return for making a two-year commitment to teaching and being placed in a full-time salaried teacher aide or certificated teaching position at a public school located in a designated cooperating school district, the former Peace Corps volunteer may be awarded a fellowship to the participating public institution of higher education to complete (in the case of teacher aides who are not yet certificated) the courses required for issuance of a teaching certificate under Article 21 of The School Code, or to pursue a master's degree program in education. The fellowships may consist of tuition waivers applicable toward enrollment at the participating public institution of higher education to complete required courses for teacher certification and to pursue a master's degree program in education; and the award of such tuition waivers may be supported by funds and grants made available to the participating university or universities through private or public sources. A participating university may also consider an authorization under which all fellowship recipients are allowed to pay in-state tuition rates while enrolled for credit in a master's degree program.
An annual salary for the fellowship recipient to teach in a designated school district for a period of two years may be provided by the designated cooperating school district at which the fellowship recipient shall teach, and may be set at an amount equal to that paid to other teacher aides and certificated teachers in a comparable position.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
(105 ILCS 30/2-4) (from Ch. 122, par. 2004)
Sec. 2-4. Eligibility. To be eligible to receive a Peace Corps Fellowship an applicant shall:
(a) have been a United States Peace Corps volunteer for two years with an outstanding record of service in the Peace Corps;
(b) have been awarded a baccalaureate degree from a recognized institution of higher learning;
(c) have a genuine commitment to teaching students in underserved areas; and
(d) be admitted to the participating public institution of higher education on the same conditions as to educational qualifications as are applicable to other candidates for admission to a master's degree program in education at that institution.
(Source: P.A. 86-1467.)