A recently introduced tenure reform proposal (A-3060) announced June 7 by Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), chair of the Assembly Education Committee, is guiding movement on ongoing tenure discussion across the State.
Diegnan’s proposal would move the tenure dismissal process from the Office of Administrative Law to an arbitration forum in order to reduce cost and expedite the process, while guaranteeing full due process protections for employees. It also increases the timelines to gain tenure from the current three to four years, requires a mentorship for teachers and school leaders in their initial years of employment, ensures ongoing professional development and support in every school, and provides some specific legislative direction on evaluation, including alignment to national and state professional standards for educators.
The new proposal comes out of discussions with, and recommendations from, education stakeholders from across the State, including the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA). Diegnan’s proposal advances the discussion initiated by Senate Education Committee Chairperson Theresa Ruiz (D-Essex), with the filing of her legislation, the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act
, last year.
“Assemblyman Diegnan and Senator Ruiz have sought public input on tenure reform, actively engaging stakeholders,” NJPSA Executive Director Pat Wright said. “We deeply appreciate the time and effort that both, as well as the other bill sponsors, have taken in developing these comprehensive proposals. We welcome ongoing public discussion on this important legislation.”
“These proposals provide us with a unique opportunity to establish a coherent focus on educator effectiveness with the goal of ensuring that our most effective educators serve in our schools,” Wright stated. “It is critical that our evaluation system both support and develop staff at all career stages, addressing performance issues comprehensively, cost effectively, and quickly.”
“We thank Assemblyman Diegnan and Senator Ruiz for their leadership on this critical policy discussion,” Wright added.
The legislation is likely to be considered at the upcoming meetings of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees.