Gov. Murphy signs executive order to address teacher shortage

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order creating a new task force to help address the state’s school staff shortage, following a statewide survey by the state National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the US Department of Education.

The new task force would report to the Office of the Governor and have no more than 25 members, including the New Jersey Department of Education commissioner, school administrators, members of the New Jersey Education Association of School Administrators, and superintendents representing separate representation and a designated Sector of the diverse student population across the state as indicated by the order.

“As one of the states with the highest scores for K-12 public education, New Jersey prides itself on the quality of education we provide to our children.” said Murphy. “Unfortunately, our state is no exception to the nationwide teacher shortage that is currently weighing on our education system. With the urgent need to rest and accelerate learning, and to support the mental health of our students, teachers and other school staff are more important than ever.”

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has a 25 percent Decrease in the number of teaching qualification certificates issued compared to previous years as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.

“This task force will help us better understand how to address the ongoing shortage in our state to grow this important workforce on behalf of New Jersey students,” the governor’s press release said.

Most states have seen enrollment declines for two consecutive years, according to data revealed by on Registration Tracker provided by American Enterprise, a conservative public policy think tank.

In the state of New Jersey, traditional public school student enrollments fell by about 18,000 over a two-year period, compared to an enrollment decline of nearly 14,000 in September 2016 through 2018, as reported by New Jersey Monitor.

Enrollments in traditional New Jersey public schools have declined 2.62 percent over the past two years. In the previous two-year period, the decline was around 1.81 percent.

With more than 600 school districts in the state, the NCES surveyed schools in December 2021 and February 2022 on the number of students attending school full-time, in-person part-time, or full-time distance learning.

Almost all of the state’s largest urban school districts — including Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Camden, New Brunswick and Trenton — announced implementation distance learning for the 2022-2023 school year.

Earlier this year, the governor signed an order requiring the NJDOE to produce a comprehensive report on the number of vacant, new and abolished teaching positions, the expected number of upcoming retirements and the reasons why teachers are leaving their jobs to help officials understand the current state of New Jersey to understand subject area.

In addition, it would produce an annual report prepared by the commissioner to review statewide, regional and district trends in teacher retention and include any recommendations the commissioner might have for improving teacher retention under the order.

With a school budget of $973 million approved by the Jersey City Public School District for the 2022-2023 school year, that represents a $159 million increase from last year’s budget, as reported by the Hudson reporterthe school district is expected to lose approximately $68.5 million K-12 condition Help.

“The teacher and staff shortages are real and are affecting students, including many of the most vulnerable, who are not receiving the full reporting they need and deserve,” said Sean Spiller, president of the New Jersey Education Association. “The task force will bring together experts, including classroom-level practitioners, who experience this challenge every day and are committed to overcoming it.”

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