September 15, 2020
New Jersey schools had a hard time finding substitute teachers before the pandemic, and the health crisis has only increased demand for qualified substitutes, said Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.
Citing health concerns or childcare dilemmas, classroom teachers have sought leaves of absence or remote teaching allowances, local school officials say. Some districts experienced a wave of such requests since Gov. Phil Murphy announced in mid-August districts could switch to remote-only instruction if they can’t open safely, jeopardizing their ability to reopen.
Superintendents are still reporting new resignations, Bozza said, adding he expects the teacher shortage to persist, particularly with the prospect of a second wave this fall.
Like Ruiz, Bozza said he hopes long term the relaxed credit requirement exposes more college students to the teaching profession and ultimately diversifies the workforce.
In the meantime, he said, there is an emergent need for more substitutes.