Gov. Phil Murphy on July 1 noted that New Jersey’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget includes $5 million devoted to the implementation of an Educator Certification Fee Holiday, which runs through June 30, 2024.

This initiative allows individuals seeking certification “to waive the customary fees associated with educator certification applications, renewals and related services,” per a July 1 press release.

“Our educators play an essential role in shaping the minds of future generations,” Murphy said. “This initiative represents one component of my administration’s broader efforts to grow our educational workforce. … By waiving certification fees over the next year, we will further break down barriers and encourage aspiring educators to join this esteemed profession.”

On July 3, Murphy signed S3440/A5060, which expands the scope of school district employee sick leave.

Under the new law, school district employees may use their sick leave for the following reasons:

• To recover from a physical or mental illness, injury, or other health condition and/or take the time to have it diagnosed, treated, or cared for

• For preventative medical care

• To assist a member of their immediate family — including parents, spouses, siblings and children — with the diagnosis, treatment, and/or care of a physical or mental illness, injury or other health condition

• For circumstances related to domestic or sexual violence

• For the death of an immediate family member (up to seven days)

• To attend school-related conferences, meetings, functions or other events for their child

• In connection with a closure of the school or facility caring for their child

“By broadening the permitted reasons for sick leave, we empower our educators to take care of themselves and their loved ones during critical times,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, New Jersey’s acting education commissioner. “This expansion not only promotes a healthier school community, but also demonstrates our commitment to supporting New Jersey’s educational workforce.”

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