On March 18, AFTNJ PreK-12 leaders representing the Newark, Garfield, North Bergen and Perth Amboy school districts participated in their first meeting with New Jersey Department of Education Acting Commissioner Kevin Dehmer.

Topics addressed during the hourlong virtual session included the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) and teacher recruitment.

Perth Amboy Federation President Pat Paradiso and Newark Teachers Union member Silvia Pereira, who were both part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s teacher shortage task force last fall, spoke about efforts needed for retaining existing teachers.

“I think the retention piece is probably the harder nut to crack,” Dehmer said. “When you look at the pipeline and things that we can do, retention is very, very difficult … this is something I’ve been very interested in personally trying to understand.”

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