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10-5-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Salaries for NJ Teachers Moving Up After Several Years in Doldrums

Teachers union says pay hikes do not compensate for bigger employee contributions to pensions and healthcare

With the latest contract settlements, New Jersey’s teacher salary increases are starting to creep up again after a precipitous drop seven years ago, although there is hardly a consensus about what the trend means.

In its annual release, the New Jersey School Boards Association put out its update on the state of school contracts at the start of the school year, and one message was clear —salary increases for teachers have bottomed out from the Great Recession and Christie administration tax caps and have started to climb back.

According to the association, this year’s settled contracts are showing salary increases for 2017-2018 at about 2.66 percent so far up up slightly from last year and more significantly from a low of 2.3 percent in 2003-2004.


John Mooney | October 5, 2016


Star Ledger--Who's the Teacher of the Year? N.J. will name winner today

TRENTON — New Jersey will name its annual public school teacher of the year Wednesday in a ceremony at the state Board of Education meeting in Trenton. 

The prize comes with a six-month paid sabbatical to work with the state Department of Education and act as a liaison between the teaching community and the department.

The teacher who wins also gets to attend a ceremony at the White House and meet the president. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com |October 05, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated October 05, 2016 at 7:02 AM


The Record--Christie's school funding plan gets mixed reviews in Wayne

Gov. Christie continued his public pitch for a revamped school funding plan with a stop in Wayne Tuesday afternoon, where he rallied residents with promises to save them money and help reduce taxes.

Under the governor’s proposed “Fairness Formula,” all districts, regardless of their current state aid allotments, would receive the same school funding share of $6,599 per student.

If the plan were to pass, about three-quarters of the state would see an increase in school aid and a resulting reduction in property taxes, Christie said.

But even the governor has acknowledged the challenge of getting the state Legislature to approve the measure for a 2017 voter referendum. Voters would have to approve the governor’s funding formula plan for it to go into effect.

The governor has tried another route, filing suit last month asking the state Supreme Court to reopen the landmark Abbott vs. Burke school funding case that in multiple rulings over several decades steered the bulk of funding to 31 of the state’s poorest districts over the past 30 years. Christie said the ruling drove up suburban property taxes, but that the districts that got the aid are still mostly failing.


By HANNAN ADELY| staff writer | The Record


Philadelphia Inquirer--Former U.S. education secretary rips the nation's teacher preparation programs

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in an open letter to the country's college presidents and education school deans takes a firm, hard swing at teacher preparation programs.

The system, he wrote, “lacks rigor, is out of step with the times, and is given to extreme grade inflation that leaves teachers unprepared and their future students at risk.”

His letter  went live at 9 a.m. Tuesday on the web site of the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, where he is a nonresident senior fellow.

Duncan, said a Brookings’ spokeswoman, hopes to spark a conversation about teacher preparation programs, something he also tried to do when he led the education department.

“We should ensure that they’re held to high standards like engineering, business, and medical students,” he wrote of the nation’s prospective teachers, “and we should only be giving the best grades to those teacher candidates who are most prepared for the classroom.”



Susan Snyder, Staff Writer | October 5, 2016