Three years ago Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) sponsored a law that requires all New Jersey state workers to live within the state. The proposal passed and Gov. Christie signed it. The concept may be well-intentioned, but has had unintended consequences for public schools, especially those near the New York and Pennsylvania borders. From the Star Ledger Editorial Board:
Dragging state workers through the wringer for uncontrollable life circumstances that force them out of state — divorces, deaths and financial woes — isn’t the only downside of this ill-conceived policy. It also reduces the talent pool for public jobs, which is especially problematic for schools fighting to recruit the best teachers.
One simple step for expanding the pool of great teachers is repealing this law, and a new bill to do just that is circulating through the Senate. The proposal, sponsored by Peter Barnes (R-Middlesex) would do just that for a three year trial period for ten NJ counties: Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden. Legislators should jump on this one. It's a no-brainer.