More than 100 officials from Lakewood yeshivas on Tuesday attended a meeting at Lakewood High School, to learn about a new state grant program that pays public school teachers to teach STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) classes in private schools, NJ.com reported.
The new grant program, signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018 under the title “Chapter 256 – an act establishing a grant program for teachers of certain subjects, supplementing chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, and making an appropriation,” orders the state department of education to establish “a grant program in which an eligible teacher employed by a school district may receive additional remuneration to teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) classes at a nonpublic school.”
“Under the program,” according to the new legislation, “participating nonpublic schools shall form partnerships with eligible teachers and school districts, in which an eligible teacher employed by the district teaches STEM classes at the nonpublic school at such times and during such hours mutually agreed upon by the teacher, nonpublic school, and school district, which may include hours beyond regular public school day hours such as extended day, evening, or weekend programming.”
The grant dedicates $5 million for the program’s first year, 2020-21, to be paid out to STEM certified public school teachers who want to be added to a list compiled by county superintendents of schools, and then their emails are shared with local private schools. The private schools then contact the teachers in whom they’re interested. When the match is made, the teacher, the private school, and the district superintendent work out schedule that does not interfere with the teacher’s public school classes.
According to Lakewood Public Schools lawyer and spokesman Michael Inzelbuch, who hosted Tuesday’s STEM meeting, in Lakewood, yeshiva students outnumber public school students almost 6 to 1: 36,000 Orthodox Jewish students attend 127 local yeshivas, compared with 6,300 non-Jewish students, NJ.com reported.