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IDEA#347: Require School Employees to Live in the Districts They Serve

For at least economic and community building purposes, if the thought ever occurred to you to require teachers to live in the districts in which they teach, here’s the reason why that can’t happen:

18A:26-1.1. Residence requirements prohibited
    No board of education of any school district shall require any teaching staff member to reside within the school district within which he is employed.
 L.1967, c.271.

A debate will ensue, of course. But something to point out: This law was passed somewhere near the end of 1967, or at least after July. What happened in July 1967? The Newark Rebellion. Which part of its aftermath was a dramatic shift in the demographics of the public schools to majority Black. White families fled, and someone felt the need to make sure no teachers were stuck here either.

Laws and policies are created in response to a society’s values. What are our values? What’s important to us? How do our current laws and policies reflect these values?

Too bad no chapter law from 1967 is readily available on the NJ Legislature’s website. More research is needed…


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