Proposed Amendments to Part 30 (Programs for the Preparation of Principals in Illinois)

Part 30 sets forth the requirements for principal preparation programs established under Section 21B-60 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/21B-60].  The rules address admission, curricular and staffing criteria, as well as the standards for program approval and the competencies which candidates should master in order to qualify for receipt of the principal endorsement.  The intent of these new principal preparation programs is to produce strong school leaders by focusing preparation on improving instruction and student learning.  The principal preparation programs and resulting endorsement replaced programs established for the receipt of the general administrative endorsement, which was required for principals but stopped being issued after August 31, 2014.  No new candidates have been admitted to general administrative preparation programs since September 2012.

The requirements for receipt of the principal endorsement are contained in Section 21B-25(B) of the School Code and differ from those for the general administrative endorsement in one significant way:  Originally, the law provided that only individuals with four years of teaching experience and completing an approved principal preparation program can apply for the principal endorsement.  Criteria for receipt of the previously issued general administrative endorsement allowed experience in both teaching and school support personnel fields.  

Due to the requirement in the law, Section 30.70(a) (Candidate Selection) currently limits enrollment in principal preparation programs to only individuals holding professional educator licenses with teaching endorsements, as it would be unlikely for a potential candidate who does not hold a teaching endorsement when he or she seeks admission to a principal preparation program to qualify for a teaching endorsement and acquire four years of teaching experience while enrolled in the program. 

To address the concerns of school support personnel who had been contemplating becoming principals, P.A. 98-917, effective August 15, 2014, provides additional opportunities for school support personnel interested in becoming principals to enter and complete principal preparation programs by June 30, 2019.  Changes proposed in Section 30.70 acknowledge the anticipated participation of school support personnel by modifying admission requirements, including the evidence of experience that these educators would present when applying for principal preparation programs.

A technical change also is proposed in Section 30.80 (Program Approval and Review) to include reference to the new superintendent endorsement, the requirements for which are set forth in Section 25.355 of rules governing Educator Licensure.

The proposed amendments were informed by recommendations of the Illinois Council of Professors of Educational Administration.  The proposed amendments also were discussed with the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board at its meeting on October 3, 2014.  The Licensure Board recommended that the proposed amendments, as presented, be considered by the State Board of Education.

Initial Review by State Board of Education: October 2014

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