PATERSON — The public school district has hired 115 new teachers with the help of the $7,500 hiring bonus agreements it began offering since the Board of Education approved the program on Sept. 14.

This is despite an ongoing national teacher shortage that continues to affect Paterson Public Schools students.

“The evidence is clear that the pre-employment agreements have been effective in recruiting qualified teachers to Paterson Public Schools and helping us limit the number of our vacancies,” Superintendent Eileen Shafer said.

There are now 146 teacher vacancies in the district. That number would have been nearly 80 percent higher without the pre-employment agreements.

The main goal is to put certified teachers in front of students in the classroom, Shafer said.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

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