An Assembly-approved bill to help military spouses with out-of-state teaching licenses find work in New Jersey has been advanced by a Senate panel. The legislation would require the State Board of Education to establish a procedure for the issuance of a temporary instructional certificate to a nonresident military spouse.


“Military families make many sacrifices in service to our country, including frequent deployments and relocations,” says Assemblyman Pat Diegnan, one of the bill’s sponsors. “Moving from state to state can be a disruptive barrier to a military spouse’s employment, particularly when his or her field requires a state-specific professional license. This bill helps make for a smoother transition to their new home.”

The measure is co-sponsored by Assembly members John Burzichelli, Cleopatra Tucker and John Wisniewski.

“Teaching is one of the most common occupations among military spouses. But unlike other professions, it requires a license, which presents a challenge for military families that are constantly on the move,” explains Burzichelli. “Providing a temporary license for qualified teachers who have relocated to New Jersey is the least we can do."

The bill would authorize a board of education to employ that individual as a teacher if they hold a valid license or certificate to teach issued by another state for which there is an equivalent and currently-issued New Jersey grade level or subject endorsement. They would also have to demonstrate competency in teaching.

“Most households depend on two incomes to run smoothly, yet military spouses face a tough time maintaining employment due to their frequent mobility,” says Tucker. “This bill allows military spouses with a valid out-of-state license to teach in New Jersey while completing any additional requirements for New Jersey teacher certification.”

The bill defines “nonresident military spouse” as a person whose spouse is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is the subject of a military transfer to New Jersey and who has left employment in another state to accompany their spouse to New Jersey. A temporary instructional certificate would be valid for 180 days and may be extended for another 180 days at the discretion of the State Board of Examiners.

“The unemployment rate for military spouses is unacceptable given the sacrifices they make,” says Wisniewski. “New Jersey can always use good and experienced teachers. If these individuals have the appropriate licenses and qualifications, then they should have the opportunity to teach in our schools.”