On August 6, 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act, which had been passed by both houses of the New Jersey Legislature. The TEACHNJ Act significantly changes how New Jersey teachers and other New Jersey public school “teaching staff members” acquire tenure.
A “teaching staff member” who obtains tenure can only be dismissed or have their compensation reduced “during good behavior” for “inefficiency, incapacity, or conduct unbecoming [ ] such a teaching staff member or other just cause.” It also provides procedural safeguards before they can be fired. (However, tenure does not prevent the school district or board of education from instituting layoffs – including laying off tenured teaching staff members – for reasons of economy or reduced enrollment, provided seniority rules are followed.)
“Teaching staff members” who may receive tenure include New Jersey public school teachers, of course, but also include these positions:
principal, other than administrative principal, assistant principal, vice-principal, assistant superintendent, and all school nurses, including school nurse supervisors, head school nurses, chief school nurses, school nurse coordinators, and any other nurse performing school nursing services, school athletic trainer and such other employees as are in positions which require them to hold appropriate certificates issued by the board of examiners, serving in any school district or under any board of education, excepting those who are not the holders of proper certificates in full force and effect, and school business administrators shared by two or more school districts.