High school students will soon have another option to help prepare them for their future careers, thanks to a new law sponsored by Senator Chuck Weaver.
Signed by the Governor August 20, House Bill 5247 requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt rules that would allow students 16 years and older to participate in industry-based occupational apprenticeship programs.
“Illinois has a lot of challenging and interesting jobs that require training beyond high school, but not necessarily a college degree,” said Senator Weaver, Republican Spokesperson on the Senate Education Committee. “This new law will help students prepare for these jobs after high school graduation, giving them a boost as they work toward successful careers.”
The standards of the programs will be reviewed and approved by the US Department of Labor. The ISBE rules will allow students to waive certain non-academic graduation requirements that would otherwise stop them from being able to take part in the apprenticeship programs.
The new law is part of a comprehensive push by Senator Weaver to improve K-12 education in Illinois. Similar bills sponsored by Senator Weaver and signed into law with the intent to increase opportunities for students include measures to combat the teacher shortage, and dual credit programs to help students save money and get a head start on college.
“We need to provide additional opportunities for our students, help them recognize their talents and compete in the global workforce,” said Senator Weaver. “I appreciate my colleagues in the General Assembly reaching across the aisle and working together on ideas that will help our students and will make a difference in the lives of the next generation of Illinoisans.”
Also sponsored by Representative Daniel Swanson of Woodhull, House Bill 5247 has an immediate effective date.