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Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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8-28-14 Teacher Contract Salary Rates...Farm to School Programs
New Jersey Newsroom N. J. Teacher Contract Settlement Rates Salary Average 2.42 Percent for 2014-2015

Star Ledger - Citing health and academic benefits, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signs five Farm to School bills at orchard

New Jersey Newsroom – N. J. Teacher Contract Settlement Rates Salary Average 2.42 Percent for 2014-2015

Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:51



TRENTON - The average public school teacher in New Jersey will receive a 2.42 percent raise in the 2014-2015 school year, the New Jersey School Boards Association reported yesterday. That average reflects 324 ratified agreements covering the upcoming school year, including those in the first, second, or third year of the contract.

Many of the contracts contain provisions for longer workdays for teachers, or more instructional time.

Last year, in 2013-2014, the overall settlement rate was 2.29 percent, which included nine contracts with wage freezes.

Settlement rates for 2014-2015 are substantially lower than those seen even just a few years ago. For example, the average salary increase for contracts covering the 2009-2010 school year was 4.23 percent.

Most Still in Negotiation As the new school year begins, many school districts are still negotiating with their teachers’ unions. Out of 206 districts where contracts expired June 30, 2014, approximately 69 percent, or 143, remain unsettled. In addition, approximately 35 districts with contracts that expired in 2013 or earlier still have not settled on new contracts. A number of tentative agreements await ratification.

The large number of districts in negotiations is not unusual, according to NJSBA. On average, more than 100 districts remain in negotiations at the start of the school year. Last year at this time, 140 school districts, were still at the bargaining table.

In past years, significant numbers of school districts achieved settlements in the fall.

Achievements School boards have been working to secure concessions from their unions, including increased work time and changes in salary policy. Most school boards with settled contracts for 2014-2015 secured such concessions.

Overall, 72 percent of districts with settlements covering 2014-2015 reported some type of union concession. In approximately 37 percent of settled contracts, the board was able to attain more instructional time, up from 30 percent the previous year. Some examples of additional work time include adding days to the school year, adding time to the school day, and/or restructuring the school day to allow for more student-teacher contact.

Approximately one quarter of settled agreements include a salary policy concession. Examples include freezing or eliminating longevity; freezing stipends; and restructuring the salary guide to reduce high increment costs.

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The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of 581 local boards of education and has included the majority of the state’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.


Star Ledger - Citing health and academic benefits, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signs five Farm to School bills at orchard

By Brielle Urciuoli | The Times of Trenton The Times, Trenton
on August 25, 2014 at 6:43 PM, updated August 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM


LAWRENCE — With a backdrop of buzzing bees, apple trees and treats baking in the shop at Terhune Orchards, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno today signed five pieces of legislation supporting the Farm to School program.

Farm to School ensures that participating public schools, including five in Mercer County, supply each student with at least two fresh fruits and vegetables every day and teaches students how and where the food was grown, what the health benefits are, and how to prepare healthy meals.

“The health, education, and future of our children is something we all agree on,” said Guadagno, who was serving as acting governor while Gov. Chris Christie was out of state. The bills were passed with bipartisan support.

“These bills are taking down these barriers so kids can have fresh fruit and vegetables,” NJ Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher said. Such barriers include the price and availability of fresh produce, especially in more urban areas and also lack of knowledge about what fruits and vegetables grow when, and what is the most delicious way to prepare them.

One of the bills centered around keeping the program well publicized on the N.J. Department of Agriculture’s website, where farmers and schools can be linked. The other four bills focused on support and execution for Farm to School, including fundraising, tax returns for those who help support the program, and an award system to highlight the benefits.

One of these benefits will probably be seen on the test scores of schools participating. Guadagno said that students who eat a healthy, balanced diet tend to do much better in school. Additionally, the educational portion of Farm to School spreads across the curriculum, making connections to math, science, and even language arts.

Speaking to a mixed crowd of New Jersey political leaders, Department of Agriculture representatives, educators, locals, and farmers, Guadagno noted another possible benefit from the program. “Who knows? We could be generating the next generation of farmers,” she said. She said the average age of a farmer is 59 in New Jersey. With over 10,000 farms, making agriculture the state’s third largest industry, there will be opportunity for younger farmers, Guadagno said.

“It is truly a great day for our children,” she said.

Brielle Urciuoli may be reached at gurciuoli@njtimes.com. Find The Times of Trenton on Facebook.



Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608