Sept. 14, 2022 - School Board Approves Signing Bonuses For New Teachers

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District to pay $7,500 to new teachers who stay with the district for two years 

PATERSON – In an effort to bolster the district’s already aggressive recruiting strategy, the Board of Education Commissioners tonight approved a measure that will make $7,500 signing bonuses available to eligible newly-hired teachers.  

To be eligible for the signing bonus, a teacher must be new to the district and must work in the district for two consecutive years. The new teachers will receive the bonus in two installments, with half of the bonus being paid in the staff member’s first year and the other half paid in the second year. 

“This is a tremendous step in helping the district fill its teaching vacancies, and I thank the Board of Education commissioners for agreeing to this measure that adds another reason why job-seeking educators in New Jersey should apply to Paterson Public Schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer. “I also want to thank Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Luis Rojas and his team for putting together this plan for signing bonuses, and their continuing efforts to bring quality instructors to the district’s classrooms.” 

“If we can attract quality educators with these signing bonuses, they will spend two years in the district and find out that Paterson Public Schools is a fantastic district to establish a career,” said Board of Education President Kenneth L. Simmons. “Paterson Public Schools has become one of the most dynamic in the state, and the opportunities to make a difference in students’ lives are here for new teachers from day one.” 

The bonuses will be funded by federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) money, and the salaries are paid through the district’s general budget.  

The Board’s vote on the signing bonuses followed a presentation by Rojas in which he reported on the progress made by the Human Resources Department’s recruiting efforts.  

The district hired 153 teachers through its five in-person job fairs held between May and August, Rojas said. Twenty-two of those teachers were hired to fill special education and bilingual education vacancies. The district has also recruited through job fairs hosted by its recruiting partners at neighboring colleges including Montclair State University, William Paterson University, Rutgers University, Ramapo College, Rider University, and Rowan University.  

The Human Resources Department also recruited from a variety of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Numerous online recruiting platforms have been used as well as advertising in pertinent publications.