Assembly panel to hear plan on changing N.J. teacher tenure rules

An Assembly committee will consider legislation Thursday to change the teacher tenure process in New Jersey.

The bill sponsored by Assemblyman Pat Diegnan, chairman of the Education Committee,would require four years instead of the current three for teachers to obtain tenure. They’d also have to get two positive evaluations.

Diegnan, D-Middlesex, also says teachers with poor performance ratings could have their tenure revoked. Binding arbitration would determine whether they would be fired.

“The way I look at the bill, it’s really basically putting in place a procedure where we’ll have the best teachers in front of the classroom,” he said. “And we’ll be able, in an expeditious manner, to remove non-performing teachers from the classroom.”

Diegnan’s bill has some substantial differences from one proposed by Sen. Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex, but he expects a compromise will be enacted before lawmakers take their summer break.

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