Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education #39

How To Become A Substitute Teacher

Substitute teachers are critical for providing continuity of instruction when teachers are absent in our schools. The substitute teacher helps maintain the many ongoing programs for students in spite of emergencies and illnesses that occur among faculty.

Who can be a substitute teacher?

You must be licensed by the State of Illinois. To be eligible for a substitute teaching license, you must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

A substitute teaching license is valid for substitute teaching in all grades of the public schools. The license is valid for 5 full fiscal years and may be renewed by meeting any renewal requirements that are in place at the time.

If a person already holds a valid Professional Educator License (PEL) or an Educator License with Stipulations (ELS) that requires a bachelor’s degree, that person is already qualified to be a substitute teacher and does not need to apply for a substitute teaching license with the Illinois State Board of Education.

How do I get a substitute teaching license?

You must be licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). To apply for a Substitute Teacher license, a candidate must first create an online account on the ISBE website in their Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS): https://sec3.isbe.net/IWASNET/login.aspx.

  • Choose the “Click here for first time access to the ELIS system” option
  • Follow the screens to create your Login Name and Password
  • Provide a valid email address and Social Security Number
  • Create a security question and answer
  • Check “yes” to receive broadcast messages from ISBE

When your account is created, you will be transferred to the ELIS program. On the home page under What Do You Want to Do, select Apply for a Substitute License. During this process, a $50 application fee is assessed electronically. Payments can be made using a major debit/credit card. Pre-paid credit cards are acceptable.

An official transcript must be submitted as evidence of an awarded bachelor’s degree. It should be noted that to be official, transcripts must be submitted in the sealed university envelope or electronically transferred from the institution to the Licensure Specialist at the Regional Office of Education (dwilliams@roe39.k12.il.us). The Licensure Specialist will upload all documents to your ELIS account.

Once the transcript is received and reviewed at the ISBE, and it is determined that the applicant has met all statutory requirements, the license will be issued. At that time, the applicant must register the license through their ELIS account. The cost is $60 ($10 per fiscal year) and is payable by debit/credit card. When the registration fee is paid, the license will be considered valid.

After applying for my Substitute Teaching License through ELIS, how do I proceed?

For the Macon-Piatt region, the prospective substitute teacher must submit application through the ROE #39 office.

The applicant must obtain a physical examination or provide proof of a physical examination within the 12 months preceding application. Illinois statute requires a physical examination by a board-certified and licensed physician. The cost of the physical examination is the responsibility of the Substitute Teacher applicant. 

State law requires a fingerprint criminal background check for every school employee. The substitute applicant will be required to fill out fingerprinting disclosure and authorization. The cost of the background check and associated searches is $65 and paid by the applicant at ROE #39 by cash or money order only.

The ROE #39 staff will arrange for the background check to be completed through an independent agency. That agency will perform a search on the Illinois Statewide Sex Offender Registry and the Illinois Statewide Child Murderer and Violent Crimes Against Children Registry; the fingerprint images will also be examined by the Illinois State Police and FBI.

If all background checks are satisfactory, the physical examination shows no evidence of communicable disease, and the license has been issued and registered, the ROE office will issue a Substitute Authorization Letter. This letter allows the Substitute Teacher License holder to substitute teach at any school in the two counties comprising the ROE #39 region.

What’s next?

The next step is for the substitute teacher to contact administration at the school districts to indicate his/her availability to substitute teach. The Regional Office sends a notification to all public school districts in the region containing the names and contact information of qualified subs. This does not guarantee that they will contact you for vacancies; therefore, you are encouraged to make a personal contact to the District Superintendents.

After every step is completed and we receive the results of your fingerprinting we will mail you a Substitute Authorization Letter.  Once the Substitute Teacher Authorization letter has been mailed to you, you will need to take that packet to each district office where you would like to substitute teach.  Let them copy it for their files and apply directly with them.

Delivery information for transcripts:

Macon Piatt Regional Office of Education
1690 E. Huston Dr.
Decatur, IL 62526

Dee Williams, Licensure Specialist

Electronic transcripts must be sent by the university to the e-mail address above. They may not come from the substitute applicant.

CLICK HERE to print the Substitute Teacher Application paperwork