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Ruiz, Turner Bill to Establish NJCLASS Loan Redemption Program Clears Committee

Trenton –Legislation sponsored by Senate Education Chair Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senate Education Vice Chair Senator Shirley Turner, which would establish an NJCLASS loan redemption program for teachers, cleared the Senate today.


“In recent years, districts have had a difficult time filling positions across a variety of topics, from ESL to STEM,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “By creating a loan redemption program in these high-demand subject areas, specifically targeted at our underperforming schools, we can attract teachers to the posts that need them the most. This legislation will not only benefit the districts struggling to find instructors, but also provide financial relief to new graduates working to repay their student loans.”


The bill, S-969, would establish a NJCLASS loan redemption program in the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to provide relief for teachers in high-need fields serving in underperforming school districts.


“Underperforming schools often have high staff turnover which in turn can lead to inconsistent education and poorer performance. This legislation is a win-win, for both the schools and the teachers,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “It will help districts fill positions with promising young teachers while offering the new hires incentives to stay on board long term, providing students with valuable continuity.”


Under the bill, the redemption of loans would range from 15 to 30 percent of principal and interest of a participant’s NJCLASS loan amounts depending on how many years they agree to teach in an underperforming school.


The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 40-0.




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