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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #138

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:26-2, any person employed as a teaching staff member by a district board of education is required to hold a valid and appropriate teaching certificate; and

WHEREAS, school districts throughout the State of New Jersey hired qualified individuals for teaching staff positions for the 2004-05 school year with the expectation that such individuals would receive a certificate in a timely manner so as to allow them to satisfy the requirements of N.J.S.A. 18A:26-2; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Education began implementing a new computerized system for the processing of applications for teaching certificates in 2004, which has resulted in excessive and unreasonable delays in the processing of such applications, in some cases as much as nine months; and

WHEREAS, approximately 1000 such applications have yet to be processed by the Department; and

WHEREAS, individuals who have met all of New Jersey's requirements for a teaching certificate but who have not yet received documentation from the Department of Education because of the aforementioned delays and who are currently employed by school districts throughout the state for the 2004-05 school year are utilizing a county substitute credential pending receipt of a certificate; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:9-6.5, the holder of a county substitute credential may serve in a teaching position for no more than 20 consecutive days in the same position in one school district during the school year; and

WHEREAS, school districts are concerned about the disruption that will ensue in classrooms throughout the state if individuals who are qualified to receive a New Jersey teaching certificate but who have not yet received it due to circumstances beyond their control are forced to leave their teaching positions; and

WHEREAS, such disruption in the assignment of instructors, instruction of students and the completion of curriculum will endanger the health, safety and resources of the State, and is too large in scope to be handled effectively by the school districts of the State; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution and Statutes of the State of New Jersey, particularly the provisions of the Laws of 1942, Chapter 251 (N.J.S.A. App.A:9-33 et seq.) and all amendments and supplements thereto confer upon the Governor of the State of New Jersey certain emergency powers; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to invoke those emergency powers under the circumstances outlined above in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the children of the State of New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby DECLARE a State of Emergency and ORDER and DIRECT as follows:

  1. I declare a State of Emergency exists in school districts throughout the State by reason of the facts and circumstances set forth above.

  2. I invoke such emergency powers as are conferred upon me in accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33 et seq, and all supplements and amendments thereto.

  3. Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the contrary, school districts may allow teachers who had an application filed for a teaching certificate with the Department of Education as of August 1, 2004, as described above, to remain in the same position in the same school for an additional 30 school days, provided that the school district agrees to pay these individuals the agreed upon salary for teaching staff members retroactively to the beginning of the 2004-05 school year after they receive a New Jersey teaching certificate.

  4. The Department of Education shall implement the following measures to ensure the timely processing of teaching certificate applications:

    1. All telephone lines designated by the Department for inquiries related to the status of teaching certificate applications shall be open and fully staffed between the hours of 4 PM and 8 PM, Monday through Friday.

    2. Mail containing applications for teaching certificates shall be opened on the day in which it was received, and scanned into the Teacher Certification System no later than 48 hours thereafter.

    3. Additional examiners shall be trained and shall supplement existing staff until the backlog in applications has been eliminated.

  5. This Order shall take effect immediately, and it shall remain in effect until such time as I determine that an emergency no longer exists.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 12th day of
October in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Four, and of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Ninth.

/s/ James E. McGreevey
Governor
[seal]

Attest:

/s/ Mark J. Fleming
Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor

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