COMMENTARY: New Jersey Parents Face Off Against a Education Department That’s Too Dense to CareNovember 10, 2022
Education Law Center Demands Murphy Immediately Replace State Board of Ed MembersNovember 11, 2022
Yesterday, Nov. 10th, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order #309 establishing a task force to “explore best practices and innovative ways to recruit and retain school staff,” according to a statement from the Governor’s Office. In the Executive Order Murphy describes the “challenges related to vacancies of teachers and education support professionals (ESP), points to the pandemic as exacerbating shortages (especially in special education, English as a Second Language, and STEM), points to the need for collaboration in fully staffing schools.
Murphy made the announcement at the NJ Education Association’s Annual Conference in Atlantic City. Politico points out one anomaly: “The task force will be under the governor’s office rather than the state Department of Education, which has been reportedly strained and understaffed in the past year.”
The task force will comprise 25 members, including the DOE Commissioner, four members designated by NJEA, three members designated by the NJ Association of School Administrators (two must be superintendents), two members from the other teacher union AFT (which represents the Newark Teachers Union), one member each designated by the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association, the NJ Association of School Business Officials, the NJ Public Charter Schools Association, the NJ PTA, the NJ Council of Vo-Tech Schools, etc.
The leader of the task force will be the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor. All members serve at the pleasure of the Governor, none will get paid, and Murphy can add as many people as he wants.
From the EO:
The objectives of the Task Force shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
a. To develop short-term and long-term recommendations to increase the quantity of teacher applicants in our State;
b. To develop short-term and long-term recommendations to increase the quantity of ESP applicants in our State;
c. To explore innovative ways the State can recruit and retain the educators and school staff our students need;
d. To identify best practices and resources to increase the pipeline of teacher candidates;
e. To identify best practices and resources to increase the pipeline of ESP candidates; and
f. To identify best practices and resources to ensure retention of school staff members.
Recommendations must be submitted to the Governor by January 31st, 2023.