[Third Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 3681

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 21, 2022

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblyman† BENJIE E. WIMBERLY

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† MILA M. JASEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Benson, Assemblywomen Reynolds-Jackson, McKnight, Assemblyman Tully, Assemblywomen Swain and Lopez

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program; appropriates $3 million.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As amended by the Senate on March 20, 2023.

††


An Act establishing the New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program, 2[and]2 supplementing chapter 2[6] 71B2 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes 2, and making an appropriation2.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† There is established in the 1Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, in coordination with the1 Department of Education 1,1 the New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program.† The purpose of the program shall be to provide incentives for 1[high-achieving]1 students to pursue careers in education.

†††† a.†††† Under the program, the 1[department] authority1 shall award 2a total of 200 scholarships annually, consisting of2 50 scholarships 2[annually]2 to eligible recipients enrolled in 2each of the first, second, third, and fourth years of academic study at2 1[an] 3[a public1] an3 institution of higher education in the State.† Students shall receive a 1[tuition waiver] scholarship in an amount up to the 2remaining2 amount of tuition1 2that is not covered by State, federal, or any other need-based grant or merit scholarship, for up to 18 credits2 for each semester of study 1[and be awarded] plus1 a stipend in the amount of $5,000 annually. 2Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection to the contrary, the amount of a scholarship awarded to a student under the program shall not exceed the average in-State tuition amount charged by the four-year public institutions of higher education in the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded.2

†††† b.††† A student shall be eligible to receive a stipend and 1[tuition waiver] scholarship1 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 2, charter school, or renaissance school2 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 2[department] hiring district or school in consultation with the Department of Education. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, the mentoring provided to an individual under this subsection shall be in addition to any minimum requirements for mentorship established pursuant to State law or regulation2. For the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of this subsection, the three years of employment with a public school district 2, charter school, or renaissance school2 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 1[or] 2[,1 permanent resident alien 1, or any student eligible to complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application1] or an eligible noncitizen as determined under 20 U.S.C. s.1091, or meet the requirements of N.J.S.18A:71B-2 or section 1 of P.L.2018, c.12 (C.18A:71B-2.1) as applicable2 ;

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

†††† (3)†† be enrolled full time in an 2[approved] educator preparation2 program 2[of study]2 at 1[an] 3[a public1] an3 institution of higher education in the State.

†††† b.††† The 1Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, in coordination with the1 Department of Education 1,1 may establish additional eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications for the program, 1including limiting the program to students seeking degrees in math, science, special education, world languages, bilingual education, or other subjects determined to be in high demand for teachers by the department,1 as well as a process for assessing eligible individuals for consideration for 2[appointment as a student] acceptance into the program2 .

†††† 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 3[1public1]3 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 1[to the department]1 in full the amount of any stipend and the value of any 1[tuition waiver] scholarship1 received 1as a debt to the State1.

†††† (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 2[approved] educator preparation2 program 2[of study]2 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 1[to the department]1 the amount of any stipend or the value of any 1[tuition waiver] scholarship1 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 2, charter school, or renaissance school2 in the State of New Jersey within five years of receiving a bachelorís degree and completing an educator preparation program shall repay 1[to the department]1 the amount of any stipend and the value of any 1[tuition waiver] scholarship1 received under the 1[scholarship]1 program 1as a debt to the State1, prorated against the duration of employment with a public school district 2, charter school, or renaissance school2 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.† 1Any amount a student is required to pay shall be treated as a debt to the State, not a student loan.1

†††† 2[(4)† A student who fails to make repayment 1[to the department]1 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 1[to the department]1.]2

 

†††† 3.††† The 2[State] Legislature2 shall appropriate 2[funds] the sum of $4,000,0002 in each fiscal year 2, beginning in fiscal year 2024,2 to finance the 1scholarships and1 stipends provided to students pursuant to section 1 of P.L.†† , c.†† (C.†† )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) 2[, in such sums as may be necessary,]2 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).

 

†††† 24.† In addition to the funds appropriated for the New Jersey Educator Scholarship Program under P.L.2022, c.49, there is appropriated from the General Fund to the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority the sum of $3,000,000 for the purpose of implementing the provisions of P.L.†††† , c.†††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).2

 

†††† 2[4.] 5.2†††† This act shall take effect immediately and shall first apply to the first full academic year following the date of enactment.