Murphy names task force members to address teacher shortage

Matthew Fazelpoor//December 9, 2022//

Murphy names task force members to address teacher shortage

Matthew Fazelpoor//December 9, 2022//

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced the appointment of 23 members to the Task Force on Public School Staff Shortages in New Jersey Dec. 8, established last month by Executive Order No. 309.

The task force, which consists of 25 members and will be chaired by Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor Dennis Zeveloff, will provide recommendations to address the challenges facing the state’s educational workforce and develop recommendations to increase the quantity of K-12 school staff.

The action comes as the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) reports a 25% decrease in the number of teacher certifications being issued today versus a decade ago with the pandemic exacerbating existing shortages, especially in high-demand areas such as special education, science, math and bilingual education.

Other factors contributing to the shortage include inadequate compensation, increased retirements and more.

‘Creative solutions’

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Ramapo College of New Jersey

In a statement, Murphy said that as we emerge from the pandemic, we must recognize the impact teacher shortages will have on the economy, the arts and civil society.

“My Administration remains steadfast in our commitment to identifying solutions to address this shortage and I am confident that this task force will offer the unique perspectives and experience that this moment requires,” said Murphy.

Christopher Huber will serve as the designee for the NJDOE.

The members appointed to the task force include David Aderhold; Gisela Adorno; Karen Bingert; Madeline Boehning; Jackie Burke; Janet Fike; Adam Fried; Henry Goodhue; Trina Jenkins; Debra Jennings; Margaret Kinsell; Amy Kline; Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, D-6th District; Harry Lee; Stacy Leftwich; Sandra Montaez-Diodonet; Ikechukwu Onyema; Patricia Paradiso; Silvia Pereira; Timothy Purnell; Sean Spiller; Richard Tomko; and Michael Vrancik.

Those appointments represent stakeholders across the education spectrum, including school administrators, school board representatives, an assistant principal, a paraprofessional, teachers, representatives from various education-related associations and members appointed upon the recommendation of legislative leaders.

The governor’s office says that the task force will also explore best practices and innovative ways to recruit and retain school staff as well as identify best practices and resources to increase the pipeline of teachers and educational support candidates.

The task force will have until Jan. 31, 2023, to provide initial recommendations to the governor.