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Gov. Murphy approves two education measures

The New Jersey School Boards Association is reporting that Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a pair of bills into law that relate to education in the Garden State.

Among the education-related measures Murphy approved is one that is aimed at reducing teacher shortages. Another is designed to protect students who suffer head injuries and ensure their safe return to school and other activities, according to the association.

‘Limited Teacher Certification Pilot directs the New Jersey Department of Education to establish a five-year pilot program for the issuance of limited certificates of eligibility with advanced standing (CEAS) and limited certificates of eligibility (CE).

The “limited CEAS” and “limited CE” would be available to candidates who may not meet one of the general requirements for a CEAS or CE and are seeking employment in a school, such as the minimum GPA requirement or the requirement to achieve a passing score on a subject matter test, according to the association.

Those who hold a limited CEAS or limited CE only would be eligible for employment at school districts approved by the department. Such districts must demonstrate a sufficient capability to support new teachers.

The district also must demonstrate:

• A demographic disparity between the district’s or school’s student population and teaching staff; or

• A shortage of bilingual education teachers; or

• A critical need to fill teacher vacancies or hardship caused by teacher vacancies also showing that hiring a teacher with limited certification would fill a need.

Following the receipt of two effective or highly effective evaluations within a three-year period, the teacher would be eligible for a standard instructional certificate, according to the association.

Under S-225/A-679, student-athletes who have sustained a concussion would be prohibited from returning to competition until they have returned to regular school activities and are symptom-free.

The return of the student-athlete or cheerleader would be in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) graduated, six-step “Return to Play Progression” recommendations, according to the association.

This builds upon existing law stipulating that a student-athlete must be evaluated by, and receive written clearance from, a physician or healthcare provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions in order to return to competition or practice.

School district policies concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions and other head injuries among student-athletes and cheerleaders, as required under existing statute, must be updated in accordance with this law. They also must be updated whenever the CDC updates the “Return to Play Progression” recommendations, according to the association.

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