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Teacher Recruitment and Retention Legislation Clears General Assembly

(TRENTON) –The New Jersey General Assembly passed legislation on Monday designed to ease the teacher shortage in the state. For years, New Jersey has garnered national acclaim for its exceptional public education system and these two bills will strengthen efforts to retain and recruit highly knowledgeable educators.

Sponsored by Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt, Yvonne Lopez, and Rosy Bagolie, A1669 aims to help facilitate the entry of qualified educators into the workforce. Additionally, A3413, sponsored by Assemblywomen Lampitt and Linda Carter, seeks to revamp teacher evaluation processes to make them less intrusive methods.

“Shortages in our educator workforce are damaging to our communities and to the children they serve. It is so important that we fill our educator training pipeline with qualified, motivated individuals who want to become teachers, and want to stay teachers,” said Assemblywoman Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington), Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. “These bills present a transformative approach to teacher certification and evaluation and are geared toward enabling teachers to focus their efforts on student engagement and academic success.”

A1669 (Lampitt/Lopez/Bagolie) would reduce obstacles to teacher certification by eliminating the requirement for candidates to take redundant, expensive, and over-burdensome examinations of basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills, including tests like the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators.

“This bill is a strong step toward strengthening New Jersey’s vibrant and resilient education sector,” said Assemblywoman Lopez (D-Middlesex). “By eliminating duplicative and expensive examinations, we are opening new doors for qualified educators to join the workforce.”

“Expediting teacher certification is essential in the state’s efforts to address the teacher workforce shortage,” said Assemblywoman Bagolie (D-Essex, Passaic). “A1669 will pave the way for enthusiastic and highly skilled educators to step into classrooms, enriching the learning experience for our children and securing a brighter future for them.”

A-3413 (Lampitt/Carter) would create a New Jersey Education Evaluation Review Task Force to reevaluate the schedule of teacher evaluations established under the TEACHNJ Act. The task force would consist of 13 members with varying backgrounds in education, who would examine the impact of the existing system. The task force would be required to provide recommendations for potential improvements or changes to reduce the administrative burden on teachers and administrators.

“This legislation, alongside the task force it establishes, will offer tangible solutions for teachers and administrators to restructure the teacher evaluation framework,” said Assemblywoman Carter (D-Somerset, Union). “Our priority is to facilitate meaningful connections between teachers and students and ensuring educators feel appreciated in their roles. By making the effort to lessen administrative burdens, we aim to enhance teacher satisfaction.”