The New Jersey School Boards Association candidly addresses some weaknesses of the tenure reform bill just approved by the State Assembly:
The tenure legislation approved by the Assembly today does not encompass the meaningful reforms desired by the New Jersey School Boards Association and needed in our schools, the organization’s executive director said.
NJSBA supports aspects of the bill, S-1455 (Ruiz), that potentially could reduce the time and cost of tenure hearings. It also views positively the bill’s emphasis on teacher evaluation and the additional year required before a school employee can initially earn tenure. However, critical reform elements are missing, according to the Association’s executive director
Seniority: “During the legislative process, lawmakers removed a provision that would have ended the use of seniority, or ‘last in-first out,’ as the sole criterion when determining retention during staff reductions,” said Marie S. Bilik, NJSBA executive director. “School leaders need to consider a teacher’s job performance when recommending who would retain a position. They don’t have the authority to do that now, and they still won’t have it under the current version of S-1455.
“NJSBA will continue to fight for elimination of ‘last in-first out,’” she said.