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Ruiz, Beach Bill to Address Substitute Teacher Shortages Becomes Law

Trenton – In an effort to address substitute teacher shortages, legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator James Beach, to expand the pool of substitute teachers was signed into law.

“Substitute teaching provides valuable experience to college students of all majors, offering an opportunity to serve their communities, learn more about our education system and earn money,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Education Committee. “This new law will expand eligibility to more higher education students in the state, ensuring we have the staffing we need in our classrooms and increasing job opportunities for those working towards a degree.”

“As we work on bolstering our summer learning programs and prepare for the upcoming school year, it is crucial we have a strong teaching workforce at the ready for when instructors need to take time off,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “Luckily, we have a strong pool of college students eager to step in and provide support to the communities they live and learn in. This legislation will expand the pool of eligible students, helping to ensure all of our classrooms have the teachers they need to resume full in-person instruction.”

The law, S-2832, allows students enrolled in institutions of higher education, who have completed 30 credits towards their degree, to serve as substitute teachers. It also increases the coverage provided by substitute teachers by extending the amount of time those individuals may teach in the same classroom during public health emergencies from 20 days to 40 days.