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Illinois Moves To Streamline Teacher-Certification Process

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The certification process for Illinois teachers will be streamlined from seven steps to two.

Unveiled last month by state Superintendent Joseph Spagnolo, the new procedure processes applications by computer rather than by mailing paperwork between offices. Under the new plan, regional offices will electronically verify an applicant's eligibility and immediately issue a teaching certificate.

The state board of education, which issues about 25,000 certificates a year, said that some past applicants have waited more than a year for certificates.

Staying Home

The Florida High School Activities Association has voted to continue to bar home-school students from extracurricular activities at public schools.

More than 19,000 Florida children are home schooled, and many have asked for the chance to participate in extracurricular activities.

The association, however, voted overwhelmingly last month to continue to bar such students. It cited, in part, the fact that home school students would be free of the grade-point requirements for participation in such activities that apply to public school students.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year seeking to allow home-school students to participate in public school extracurricular activities. But Gov. Lawton Chiles vetoed the measure and asked the groups to resolve their differences on their own.

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