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Ruiz Bills to Help Address Teacher Shortage Advance

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Trenton – In an effort to help address the ongoing teacher shortages plaguing districts around the state, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced two bills sponsored by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz to expand pathways to teaching.

“Access to a high quality education is the bedrock of a thriving society, and at its heart are dedicated teachers who shape the minds of future generations. In New Jersey, as in any other state in this nation, it is imperative that we recognize the critical importance of addressing teacher shortages,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Through these pieces of legislation, we remove barriers and widen pathways for teaching candidates, working to get more educators in front of the classroom during this time of critical need. I will continue to push for additional measures to address this, including lifting the residency requirement to allow out-of-state teachers to join New Jersey’s educator workforce.”

The first bill, S-3814, would establish an emergency instructional certificate for teachers and teacher candidates in high-need fields. The certificate would allow eligible certified teachers pursuing an endorsement in a high-need area to fill positions in that area while they’re in the process of getting the endorsement.

A second bill, S-3890, would prohibit a cap on the number of professional education community college credits that could be applied toward an educator preparation program’s requirements, except as otherwise required by a program’s accrediting organization.

Both bills were released from committee by votes of 12-0.