Senator JIM WHELAN
District 2 (Atlantic)
Senator M. TERESA RUIZ
District 29 (Essex)
Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Senators Gordon and Greenstein
Establishes program in DOE to address State’s shortage of mathematics and science teachers.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Education Committee on March 5, 2012, with amendments.
An Act establishing a program in the Department of Education to address the shortage of teachers in mathematics and science and supplementing chapter 27 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Economic development focused on twenty-first century skills in areas related to mathematics and the sciences is critically important to the future of the State; and
b. Documented shortages of mathematics and science teachers exist in New Jersey and this shortage will negatively impact the State’s efforts to provide a workforce well prepared in such fields as engineering, research, and computer technology.
2. a. In accordance with the provisions of subsection b. of this section, the Commissioner of Education shall establish a program to issue subject area endorsements in mathematics 1[or],1 in the sciences 1, or in any subject area in which there is a shortage of teachers in the State as determined by the United States Department of Education,1 to certificated teaching staff members authorized to work in New Jersey public schools who do not currently have a subject area endorsement in those fields. The purpose of the program shall be to reduce the shortage of teachers in mathematics 1[and] ,1 science 1, and other identified subject areas1.
b. Under the program, and notwithstanding any provision of law or regulation to the contrary, the State Board of Examiners shall issue a subject area endorsement in mathematics 1[or science], in the sciences, or in any subject area in which there is a teacher shortage in the State as determined by the United States Department of Education1, as appropriate, upon successful completion of the program to a teaching staff member who:
(1) passes the appropriate State test of subject matter knowledge; and
(2) meets such other criteria as the commissioner shall set forth in regulation. The commissioner shall have the authority under the program to establish different criteria for completion of the program based on factors such as the subject area in which the individual intends to teach.
1c. The program shall be subject to oversight by the commissioner, including routine reviews and the elimination of subject areas for which endorsements are available under the program. The elimination of a subject area shall be based on the classroom performance of the teachers who have received endorsements in the subject area under the program or the fact that the subject area no longer has a shortage of teachers.1
3. Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) or any other law to the contrary, the commissioner may adopt, immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law, such rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to implement the provisions of this act which shall be effective for a period not to exceed 12 months following the effective date of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill). The regulations shall thereafter be amended, adopted, or readopted by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).
4. This act shall take effect immediately.