Governor Murphy Signs Schaer’s Bill Expanding Access to STEM Education

Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation which amends the New Jersey Department of Education grant program for STEM teachers established by the Governor in 2019.

Signed amid a nationwide teacher shortage, the law, which was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) will incentivize public school STEM teachers to participate in the program and ensure that nonpublic school students have access to STEM education.

The legislation expands the number of educators who are eligible to provide STEM instruction at nonpublic schools in addition to their public school duties.

The law also broadens the hours at which public school teachers can teach at nonpublic schools, in addition to increasing teacher compensation for participating in the program.

“As we continue to support our students through the most formidable challenges of the 21st century, it is imperative that we continue to ensure that all students have access to a world-class STEM education,” Murphy said in a statement.

“Since the beginning of my Administration, I have remained unwavering in my commitment not just to New Jersey children, but to the teachers responsible for our students’ instruction, safety, and wellbeing.

The expansion of the program I signed into law three years ago will provide current and prospective public school educators with greater flexibility and compensation to provide STEM education to nonpublic school students.”

Primary sponsors for the legislation also included Senators Vin Gopal and Shirley Turner and Assemblywoman Sterley Stanley.

“The improved STEM Educator Grant Program is a crucial step in ensuring educational equity for every student in New Jersey, regardless of what school they attend,” Schaer said in a statement.

“Generous State funded grants will create needed opportunities for our highly qualified public school teachers in nonpublic schools that cannot provide advanced STEM programming. This legislation represents an essential component of New Jersey’s historic investments in emerging technologies and groundbreaking innovations.”

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