Assembly Passes Bill Establishing a Five-Year Pilot Program Issuing Limited Teaching Certificates to Certain Candidates

(TRENTON) – To help teachers find employment in school districts, charter schools, or renaissance schools, Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano (D-Union), Pamela Lampitt (D-Burlington, Camden) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Hunterdon, Mercer) sponsor a measure passed by the full Assembly on Monday 65-5-1 that would establish a five year pilot program in the Department of Education.

The pilot program established under the bill (A-4594) would authorize the issuance of a limited certificate of eligibility with advanced standing (CEAS) and a limited certificate of eligibility (CE).  Individuals who hold a limited CEAS or a CE would only be eligible to be hired at certain schools which must receive approval by the Commissioner of Education.

Schools must submit an application to the commissioner, demonstrating the sufficient capability to provide support for new teachers. The application must also demonstrate a demographic disparity between the district’s or school’s student population and teaching staff, a shortage of bilingual education teachers, a critical need to fill teacher vacancies or hardship caused by teacher vacancies.

Upon Assembly approval of the measure, Assemblywomen Quijano, Lampitt and Reynolds-Jackson issued the following joint statement:

“Some schools are in a constant need for more teachers and continue to remain understaffed.  There are many educators who are perfectly capable of teaching students, but do not have their certifications completed.  This bill is an opportunity to help teach in our communities and fill the roles that are desperately needed.

“In many situations, there is a lack of bilingual educators which can often make it difficult for certain students to learn.  This pilot program will allow bilingual teacher candidates to utilize their knowledge of other languages and better educate the students who need their services.”