We are in extraordinary times, with extended school closures and a necessary focus on COVID-19 prevention. NJEA members across the state are adjusting to new ways of supporting and educating students, learning as we go through uncharted territory.

In the midst of that, however, we are seeing important progress in our years-long campaign for Ch. 78 relief and ESP Job Justice. At a time when the need for affordable access to high-quality healthcare is more apparent than ever, and when the critical role of Educational Support Professionals is more apparent than ever, three bills are moving to deal with these critical issues.

On March 16, Senate President Steve Sweeney introduced S-2273, a bill that provides long-sought relief for educators struggling with ever-growing health care costs that have threatened their ability to provide for their families and stay in the profession they love.  At the same time, Sen. Sweeney had vowed to move S-993 and S-1928, two bills that provide New Jersey’s dedicated Educational Support Professionals with reasonable due process rights and fair protections against subcontracting during the term of a negotiated contract.

While legislative schedules are subject to change as current conditions dictate, the progress of these bills reflects the hard work that NJEA members have done advocating for justice over many months. It also reflects the recognition of elected leaders that our priorities are right for students, communities and the state of New Jersey.

You can learn more about the details of these bills at njea.org/justice.

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