Lt. Gov. Stratton visiting WIU Monday as part of initiative to address teacher shortage

Stratton_Juliana

Juliana Stratton

MACOMB, Ill. — Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton will visit Western Illinois University on Monday to meet with students, staff, and administrators in education. This visit is the latest stop on the Lt. Governor’s statewide tour focused on building a strong, diverse teacher pipeline amid a nationwide teacher shortage. 

A survey by the National Education Association found 55 percent of educators want to leave the profession early. That percentage is even higher for Black (62 percent) and Hispanic/Latino (59 percent) educators who are already underrepresented in the teaching profession.

“Our administration knows that educators need support now more than ever,” Stratton said in a press release. “My team and I recognize that teachers know what they need, and we must tap into their wisdom. We are listening and learning from our educational institutions across the state to better understand how to tackle the barriers we face today in education.”

The Pritzker/Stratton administration made education one of the top priorities in Illinois’ latest balanced budget. Overall investments in education have increased to $12 billion, with $9.7 billion allocated to K-12 education and $2.2 billion for higher education. Funding in scholarships for teachers of color was doubled, MAP grant funding increased to more than $600 million and awards will cover 50 percent of tuition at public universities. 

Stratton has visited Illinois-Chicago, Illinois Springfield, Southern Illinois, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and others. She also will continue her focus on agricultural equity and food insecurity while in the Macomb area.

“Western Illinois University and the College of Business is honored to have the lieutenant governor of the great state of Illinois visit our facilities,” said Craig Conrad, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology. “We look forward to conversations about the Lt. Governor’s food insecurities initiatives.” 

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