ASSEMBLY, No. 3681

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 21, 2022

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act establishing the New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program, and supplementing chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1. †† There is established in the Department of Education the New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program. †The purpose of the program shall be to provide incentives for high-achieving students to pursue careers in education.

†††† a. †† Under the program, the department shall award 50 scholarships annually to eligible recipients enrolled in an institution of higher education in the State. †Students shall receive a tuition waiver for each semester of study and be awarded a stipend in the amount of $5,000 annually.

†††† b. †† A student shall be eligible to receive a stipend and tuition waiver under the program for a maximum of four academic years, or until receipt of a bachelorís degree and completion of an educator preparation program, whichever occurs first.

†††† c. †† Within the first five full school years immediately following receipt of a bachelorís degree and completion of an educator preparation program, a student who received a scholarship under the program shall seek and accept full time employment as a teaching staff member with a public school district in the State of New Jersey for no less than three full school years, during which time the student shall receive mentoring coordinated by the department. For the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of this subsection, the three years of employment with a public school district may be nonconsecutive and may be divided between multiple public school districts in the State of New Jersey. †A student who fails to meet the requirements of this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection d. of section 2 of this act.

†††† d. †† Nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt a student from meeting teacher certification requirements in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education.

 

†††† 2. †a.† In order to be eligible for a scholarship under the program, a student shall:

†††† (1)†† be a United States citizen or permanent resident alien;

†††† (2)†† be a resident of the State of New Jersey; and

†††† (3)†† be enrolled full time in an approved program of study at an institution of higher education in the State.

†††† b. †† The Department of Education may establish additional eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications for the program, as well as a process for assessing eligible individuals for consideration for appointment as a student.

†††† c. †† A studentís scholarship shall remain in effect only during
such period as the student achieves satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution and continues to meet the eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications established pursuant to subsections a. and b. of this section.

†††† d. †(1)† The scholarship shall not remain in effect for a student who is dismissed from the institution of higher education or educator preparation program for academic or disciplinary reasons, is disqualified from employment by a school district due to the detection of criminal history record information pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1), or otherwise becomes ineligible to receive a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing from the Board of Examiners, and the student shall be required to repay to the department in full the amount of any stipend and the value of any tuition waiver received.

†††† (2)†† The scholarship shall not remain in effect for a student who does not obtain a bachelorís degree within the first four years of the scholarship or who withdraws from an approved program of study due to the studentís illness, the illness of a member of the studentís immediate family, or a family emergency but the student shall not be required to repay to the department the amount of any stipend or the value of any tuition waiver received.

†††† (3)†† A student who received a scholarship under the program who does not complete three full years of employment as a teaching staff member with a public school district in the State of New Jersey within five years of receiving a bachelorís degree and completing an educator preparation program shall repay to the department the amount of any stipend and the value of any tuition waiver received under the scholarship program, prorated against the duration of employment with a public school district in the State as follows: a student who completes two full years of employment shall repay one-third of the amount of any financial support received, a student who completes one full year of employment shall repay two-thirds of the amount of any financial support received, and a student who fails to complete a full year of employment shall repay the full amount of any financial support received.

†††† (4)†† A student who fails to make repayment to the department pursuant to this subsection who is the holder of any certification issued by the Board of Examiners shall be subject to disciplinary action by the board which may include, but need not be limited to, the revocation or suspension of the certification until such time as repayment is made to the department.

 

†††† 3. †† The State shall appropriate funds in each fiscal year to finance the stipends provided to students pursuant to section 1 of P.L.†† , c.†† (C.†† )(pending before the Legislature as this bill), in such sums as may be necessary, and to effectuate the purposes of the program established in accordance with section 1 of P.L.   , c.   (C.   )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† 4. †† This act shall take effect immediately and shall first apply to the first full academic year following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes the New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program in the Department of Education.† The purpose of the scholarship program is to provide incentives for high-achieving students to pursue careers in education.

†††† Scholarships will be awarded by the department to 50 students enrolled in approved programs of study at an institution of higher education within the State.† Each student will receive a tuition waiver for each semester of study and an annual stipend of $5,000 for four years of study or until the student receives a bachelorís degree and completes an educator preparation program, whichever occurs first.† Within the first five full years after graduation, the student is required to seek and accept full time employment as a teaching staff member with a public school district in the State and the student will serve in employment with a public school district in the State for no less than three full school years, during which time they will receive mentoring to aid the student in furthering a career in education.

†††† In order to be eligible for a scholarship under the program, a student is required to be a United States citizen or permanent resident alien, a resident of the State of New Jersey, and enrolled in an approved program of study at an institution of higher education in the State. The department may establish additional eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications, and will determine an application and evaluation process for scholarship candidates.† A studentís scholarship will remain in effect provided that the student achieves satisfactory academic progress and continues to meet eligibility requirements.† The scholarship will not remain in effect for a student who: is dismissed from the program of study for academic or disciplinary reasons, is disqualified from employment by a school district due to the detection of criminal history record information under current law, becomes ineligible to receive a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing for any other reason, does not receive a degree within the first four years of the scholarship, withdraws from the program of study due to illness or a family emergency, or does not complete the required three full years of employment in a public school district within five years of receiving a bachelorís degree.† Under certain circumstances, a student whose scholarship has been terminated may be required to repay to the Department of Education all or part of the amount of any stipend and the value of any tuition waiver received during the scholarship.