Pilot program to recruit minority teachers advances in committee

TRENTON – Assembly lawmakers moved legislation that would recruit minority men as teachers for struggling schools in the state.

The Assembly Women and Children Committee released A3195, which would establish a pilot program to recruit and match minority men to teach at chronically failing schools.

“It’s really directed toward the child,” said Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, (D-6), Cherry Hill.

“It’s trying to take minority men who have gone off and who have worked in an industry who have never thought of (being a teacher) … but obviously have an area of expertise,” she said. “So maybe they can actually do a second career path.”

The bill would help suggest teaching as a career for minority men and further support them through the process by assisting them in finding a teaching position, said Lampitt, adding that the minority male presence would then be an advantage for minority students.

The New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association support the proposal.

The bill was released unanimously from the committee.

According to the legislation, chronically failing schools are described as schools where more than 65 percent of students score “partially proficient” on state grammar and math assessments.

New Jersey men who are from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds and meet the criteria for enrolling in the state’s alternate route teacher preparation program, as well as State Board of Education requirements, will be eligible for the two-year pilot program.

Pilot program to recruit minority teachers advances in committee