No Teacher Shortage Reported in New Jersey
As districts in several states across the country scramble to find and hire teachers before the start of the school year, there's not as much pressure in the Garden State.
Despite a lack of qualified educators elsewhere, there is no such shortage in New Jersey, according to Frank Belluscio of the New Jersey School Boards Association.
High-growth states such as Arizona and Nevada, he said, have not been able to keep up with the supply of students. In New Jersey, though, enrollment has been fairly level over the past few years.
"That really high growth period during the 1990s, the early part of the century, has leveled off," Belluscio said. "That bubble has basically moved through the school system."
The state Department of Education reported enrollment of 1,369,036 in New Jersey's public schools for the 2014-2015 year. Enrollment was 1,371,399 for 2013-2014 and 1,373,181.5 the year prior.
There are a few select areas in which it's a bit more difficult to recruit, Belluscio said.
"One would be special programs for English language-learners," he said. "Another would be special education where that has been a growth in the need for services."
Math and science have been particularly sore subjects for states throughout the country, plagued by a crowd of layoffs during the recession and a drop in the number of people training to be teachers.