I was honored to be a part of a conversation with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and other leaders in the education sphere to discuss my Too Young to Test legisation and ISBE's proposed changes to standardized testing in schools. Check out there resources below to hear what we had to say:

Category: In the News

TeacherAidSPRINGFIELD – Paraprofessionals in schools help provide students with one-on-one or small group assistance and support teachers in the classroom. Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago), more paraprofessionals will be able to get into classrooms earlier.

“With more than 2,000 unfilled teacher aid and paraprofessional positions, it’s critical we open the door to this profession to as many qualified candidates as possible,” Pacione-Zayas said. “By lowering the required age for this profession in some classrooms, we can help students get the individualized assistance they may need.”

The new law, formerly known as Senate Bill 3988, lowers the age for paraprofessionals in Pre-K through eighth grade classrooms to 18 years old. People applying for these positions must still meet all other qualifications, including education requirements and passing a paraprofessional competency test. 

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, the number of unfilled paraprofessional positions in school districts across the state nearly doubled from 2021 to 2022. There were 1,237 unfilled positions last year compared to 2,397 this year, making this legislation more important than ever.

“The majority of schools are reporting a lack of qualified applicants as the primary cause for these vacancies,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Allowing more people to apply for these positions will inevitably lead to more qualified candidates, which is vital to getting paraprofessionals into classrooms.”

The new law was signed Wednesday, and it goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

Estimado amigo,

La sesión legislativa de primavera terminó y los legisladores aprovechamos al máximo su duración compacta y el tiempo que pasamos en Springfield. Aprobamos un presupuesto balanceado que da prioridad a las familias de Illinois, así como legislación que atiende la seguridad pública, educación y más.

Lea más para informarse sobre legislaciones que lideré este año, así como mis reflexiones sobre el presupuesto. Adicionalmente, incluí información sobre eventos próximos y recursos para usted.

Adicionalmente al evento de bienvenida y centro de vacunación, mi oficina distrital está regalando gel sanitizante y pruebas de detección caseras COVID-19. ¡Visítenos y llévese algunas!

Como siempre, siéntase en libertad de comunicarse con mi oficina para recibir asistencia llamando al 773-278-2020, enviando un mensaje de texto al 773-207-7838, o mandando un mensaje a través de www.senatorpacionezayas.com/contact-us.


Senadora Estatal Cristina Pacione-Zayas |Distrito 20

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Category: Newsletters

Dear friend,

The spring legislative session has come to an end, and lawmakers made the most of our condensed time in Springfield. We passed a balanced budget that prioritizes Illinois families as well as legislation to help address public safety, education and more.

Read on to learn more about legislation I championed this year as well as my thoughts on the budget. Additionally, I have included information on upcoming events and resources for you.

In addition to an upcoming open house and vaccine clinic, my office is giving out free hand sanitizer and at-home COVID- 19 tests. Stop by to pick some up!

As always, feel free reach out to my office for assistance by calling 773-278-2020, sending a text message to 773-207-7838, or sending us a note at www.senatorpacionezayas.com/contact-us.


State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas |20th District

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Category: Newsletters

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020