At its August monthly meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and acted on the following items:
Educator Preparation and Certification The State Board discussed updates to the regulations concerning educator preparation, certification and professional development.
The amendments proposed at N.J.A.C. 6A:9 in this rulemaking and at N.J.A.C. 6A:9A, 6A:9B, and 6A:9C in separate, simultaneous rulemakings are intended to provide options to certain candidates for an instructional certificate. The proposed amendments also will implement a number of recently enacted state laws that created new endorsements for instructional certificates or altered the requirements for existing endorsements, including the following:
- P.L. 2013, c. 68, which created pathways for military spouses to earn a certificate through reciprocity.
- P.L. 2017, c. 6, which requires educator preparation programs that lead to an instructional certificate to include instruction or clinical experience in special education and credit hours in autism spectrum disorder for the teacher of students with disabilities endorsement.
- P.L.2017, c.70, which revised the requirements for the school nurse endorsement.
- P.L. 2018, c. 81, which authorized the computer science endorsement to the instructional certificate.
- P.L. 2021, c. 57, which established the Alternate Route Interstate Reciprocity Pilot Program.
- P.L. 2021, c. 87, which revised the substitute credential requirements.
- P.L. 2021, c. 279, which established the early college high school program endorsement to the instructional certificate.
- P.L. 2021, c. 420, which required alternative measures for candidates for the career and technical education endorsement to demonstrate basic skills.
The proposal will also ensure that every student, school, and district have access to well-trained, effective educators who meet the needs of their communities. Additionally, the proposal will ensure diversity in the composition of the educator workforce and increase the supply of teachers with certifications required for hard-to-fill positions.
NJSBA will review these proposals for its impact on school districts and the teaching profession as they go through the regulatory process.
Report on the Camden School District The state-operated district gave its annual report to the State Board. The superintendent, Katrina McCombs, updated the board on the district’s progress. The district is meeting its challenges in many areas. The district continues to improve its fiscal condition, having presented a “clean” audit and a balanced budget. Its school facilities continue to improve with the opening of its newly renovated Camden High School and its commitment to capital improvements to all of its school facilities. The district also continues to improve its student transportation in the district by going out to bid early for transportation services as well as beginning to bring some transportation services in-district as well as expanding its academic offerings to its students. As an example of this, the district has expanded its career and technical education offerings to 13 different programs and is seeking to improve its partnerships with local business communities. The district also continues to make improvements in student attendance.