TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Jim Whelan, Teresa Ruiz, and Shirley K. Turner which would create an alternative method of endorsing teachers in specific subject areas in order to address a shortage in those subject areas was approved by the Senate today by a vote of 36-0, receiving final legislative approval.
“We have a responsibility to our kids to make sure they receive a top-notch education in order to compete in an increasingly global marketplace,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “However, when our schools are facing down shortages in key subject areas, not only is the quality of education jeopardized, the availability of even fundamental education comes into question. This bill would ensure that we have enough quality teachers at all levels and in all subject areas to meet the need, without compromising an inch on the quality of the education our kids receive.”
“This bill would make sure that New Jersey schools have access to a qualified and dedicated workforce whenever shortages in any subject area may arise,” said Senator Ruiz, D-Essex, and Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee. “It would create an alternate path for subject area endorsements for teachers who demonstrate proficiency in any given subject and a desire to teach that subject. Ultimately, it would ensure that New Jersey is better-equipped to meet the demand for quality teachers in every school district and every educational discipline.”
“By giving our State’s teachers the ability to pursue alternate subject area endorsements, we’re making sure that we have adequate and available staffing in all educational disciplines,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer and Hunterdon, and Vice Chair of the Education Committee. “This bill strikes a thoughtful balance between the staffing needs of our schools and the need for quality teachers in our classrooms. It will result in teachers filling in the holes whenever a district faces a shortage in a particular subject area.”