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NJ residency law could be revoked

A law signed three years ago by Gov. Chris Christie may be rolled back for some school districts, including Allendale’s.

A law requiring those paid by New Jersey taxpayers to make their home in the state is being given another look. Those looking to change the legislation state that it has resulted in the unintended consequence of stifling schools’ ability to attract young, prospective teachers, as well as principals and superintendents.

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex) is gathering steam. It was introduced earlier this month and is already scheduled for a hearing. Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) is sponsoring the measure in the Assembly, commenting:

“It’s always been about putting the best quality teacher in front of kids. That’s where education begins.”

Allendale educators and parents are eagerly watching the outcome, believing that anything that enables the school system to hire the best available teachers is worthwhile. Many parents, however, are not waiting for help from the legislature. They are working on their own to assist their children by seeking out the learning skills tutoring help Allendale students need.

The bill being considered will set up a pilot program that would require school districts in the 10 counties where residency requirements would be lifted to report its impact to the New Jersey Department of Education. The bill would affect new school employees in Hunterdon, Bergen, Camden, Hudson, Mercer, Passaic, Essex, Sussex, Burlington and Warren.

The Governor’s office was unclear about whether Gov. Christie would sign the measure.

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