Education measures on hold in N.J. Legislature

New Jersey lawmakers are not expected to enact education reform proposals at next month’s final meeting of the current legislative session.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean said he is disappointed lawmakers aren’t acting sooner on teacher tenure and merit pay proposals.

“We could have had for the first time a merit-based, performance-based, achievement-based system of making sure that kids had the opportunity to learn and could graduate from high school going straight to college or straight to the work force and be qualified for that opportunity,” Kean said.

Senate President Steve Sweeney expects education reform bills will be considered early in the next session of the Legislature.

Sweeney said he is close to reaching an agreement with Gov. Chris Christie on merit pay.

“We would give additional dollars to that school but for very limited uses so that it might make the teachers’ job easier,” Sweeney said. “Maybe it’s improvement of technology. We would have a category of what they would spend the money on.”

The governor wants to end the reliance on seniority to determine teacher wages and retention, but Sweeney says he won’t agree to that.

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