Assembly Approves Bills To Help Military Spouses & Veterans

TRENTON – The Assembly on Monday approved two separate measures to help veterans and military spouses who have moved to New Jersey as part of a military relocation secure work in teaching and emergency services.

The first bill (A-2891) would require the New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to certify emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics with equivalent military training or experience in the Armed Forces or the National Guard, if that military training and experience exceed or are equivalent to New Jersey’s certification standards.

The second bill (A-2892) would allow nonresident military spouses with out-of-state teaching licenses who have been relocated to New Jersey to receive a temporary instructional certificate to teach in New Jersey.

“Military families make many sacrifices in service to our country, including frequent deployments and relocations,” said Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Moving from state to state can be a disruptive barrier to a military spouse’s employment, particularly when his or her field requires a state-specific professional license. This bill helps make for a smoother transition to their new home.”

The bill (A-2892) would require the state Board of Education to establish a procedure for the issuance of temporary instructional certificates to nonresident military spouses that would authorize a board of education to employ that individual if (1) the military spouse holds a valid and current license or certificate to teach issued by another state for which there is an equivalent and currently-issued New Jersey grade level or subject endorsement; and (2) demonstrates competency in teaching by having taught successfully for at least two years or having completed continuing education units.

A temporary instructional certificate would be valid for 180 days and may be extended for another 180 days at the discretion of the State Board of Examiners. The temporary instructional certificate would allow the military spouse to be employed as a teacher on a temporary basis while completing any specific additional requirements for an instructional certificate in New Jersey that were not required in the state where the military spouse holds a license or certificate to teach.

“The unemployment rate for military spouses is 26 percent. That’s more than three times the national unemployment rate and it is unacceptable given the sacrifices they make,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “New Jersey can always use good and experienced teachers. If these individuals have the appropriate licenses and qualifications, then they should have the opportunity to teach in our schools.”

Both bills were approved 78-0 by the Assembly and now await further consideration by the Senate.

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