Illinois education officials say the elimination of some requirements for teacher licenses has streamlined the licensing process and hasn't sacrificed the state's high standards.
The Chicago Tribune reports the changes to the licensing laws began in 2011. Some allow aspiring teachers to bypass certain coursework and exams.
Some administrators say those changes have helped fill jobs in areas with teacher shortages.
But advocates for tough licensing standards say eliminating coursework and testing requirements may not guarantee educators have the credentials needed to work in public schools.
The Illinois State Board of Education reports there were more than 1,000 open positions statewide for the 2017-2018 academic year, though that's less than 1 percent of total teaching positions. In some past years, data has shown more than 2,000 unfilled positions.