Educator shortage task force begins meeting

NJEA representatives seek your input

With support from NJEA, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order No. 309 on Nov. 11 to establish the Task Force to Address Public School Staff Shortages across New Jersey. 

The 25-member task force is charged with making recommendations to increase the quantity of K-12 staff across the state and look in detail at issues of retention and recruitment.

Initial recommendations are due at the end of January as the Governor intends to include necessary budgetary asks to support recommendations in his February budget address.  To that end, the task force has met twice already, on Dec. 8 and 15, and will continue meeting in the New Year. 

The Governor recognizes that your voices are key to addressing the crisis and finding long term solutions.  NJEA is proud to have four seats on the Task Force, indicative of the experience and expertise that our members have on this issue. Overall, the Governor has brought together a diverse set of practitioners from across the state complimented by academic experts who are analyzing statewide data and trends.  The meetings are productive and collaborative.  We are confident that under the Governor’s leadership, we will be able to advance meaningful solutions.  Like most good solutions, they will not all be immediate, but the task force is focused on short, medium and long term solutions because the Governor has made clear that he wants to start now on solutions that we can act on immediately.

NJEA members are well represented on the task force by a strong and diverse team that have already demonstrated the expertise NJEA members bring to this work: NJEA President Sean M. Spiller, Henry Goodhue (Hillsborough EA president and 6th grade special education teacher ), Ikechukwu Onyema (East Orange High School chemistry teacher) and Trina Jenkins (NJEA ESP of the year from Pleasantville EA.)  The entire list of the Task Force can be found here.

In addition to the four members from NJEA on the Task Force, under the leadership of Vice President Steve Beatty, we have an internal NJEA working group to provide feedback and discuss recommendations that come from the task force meetings.  This way we are able to engage more members in the process.  This group is critical support to the members of the task force and will be pivotal in helping us prioritize and organize our top recommendations. 

Throughout the process, we will continue to ask you for information and input that will help inform and prioritize our recommendations.  So please take a moment now to share your best ideas.