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TRENTON – Assemblywoman Annette Quijano has introduced a two-bill package aimed at revitalizing failing school districts by providing incentives to attract and retain teachers.
“The main purpose of these programs is to create an incentive for new teachers to work and teach in low-performing school districts,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Skilled teachers are the fundamental building blocks of ensuring a quality education, but the unfortunate reality is that low-performing schools are unable to attract new qualified teachers into its workforce.”
The first bill in Assemblywoman Quijano’s package, known as the WIN Act, would provide a $5,000 refundable gross income tax credit for new teachers who teach in qualifying, low-performing school districts.
The second bill would help retain these qualifying teachers by requiring them to sign a five-year contract in order to have 10 percent of their student loans paid back each of the five contracted years.
“By creating these incentives, new teachers will not only be motivated to begin teaching in such districts, but also to stay, thereby creating much needed stability in our educational system and improving educational opportunities for all New Jersey students,” added Quijano.
An eligible school district must meet the following criteria: more than 40 percent of the district’s students did not pass the language arts and mathematics subject areas of the state assessments; or more than 65 percent of the students did not pass either the language arts or mathematics subject areas.
The provisions would go into effect immediately after being signed into law and would apply to the first full school year following the date of enactment.