Jan 13, 2021

Governor Murphy Signs E.O. 214, Impacting Students & Teachers

By Alison Kenny, Esq.

Many high school seniors and their families will be relieved to hear that the Executive Order waives the high school proficiency test requirement for any 12th grade student who has met all other graduation requirements. Students in the class of 2021 must still meet all the other State and local graduation requirements, including but not limited to credit, curriculum, and attendance requirements, but will not be prevented from graduating if they simply have not yet met the assessment requirement.

The Executive Order also waives, for the 2020-2021 school year, the State requirement that student growth and/or student achievement be included in the criteria upon which teachers, principals, assistant principals, and vice-principals are evaluated.  Specifically, the Executive Order waives the provisions set forth in N.J.S.A. 18A:6-123(b)(3) and (6).

Finally, the Executive Order revises, for the duration of the public health emergency, the requirements of N.J.S.A. 18A:16-1.1c, which establishes that a vacant teaching position cannot be filled by an improperly certified teacher or a substitute teacher for more than 20 days.  Under the Executive Order, individuals holding a certificate of eligibility or certificate of eligibility with advanced standing in an area not authorized by their credentials may now fill a vacant teaching position for up to 40 school days during the ongoing pandemic.  Additionally, a school district may apply to the Commissioner of Education to allow the improperly certified teacher or a substitute teacher to serve for an additional 20 school days in a vacant teaching position if the district can demonstrate that it has attempted, but been unable to hire a properly certified teacher for the position.

DISCLAIMER: This Alert is designed to keep you aware of recent developments in the law.  It is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after the attorney understands the facts of a particular matter and the goals of the client