The average teacher raise in New Jersey for the 2012-2013 school year is 2.42 percent, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association, which represents a continued downward trend. More than a third (38 percent) of districts report settlements at 2 percent or lower for this current year, according to the association. Marie Bilik, NJSBA executive director, pointed to the 2 percent tax levy cap, a slow economy, and concerns about property tax burdens as the reasons for the trend.
Of the 587 local boards in New Jersey, 160 remain in negotiations, according to the NJSBA. Of those, 53 contracts expired in 2011 or earlier.
The association said that in addition to curbing salary increases, teacher contracts demonstrate a trend toward greater instruction time. More than 25 percent of the new contracts contain an increase in work time, up from 14 percent last year. Examples of the new requirements include added days to the school year, longer school days, and more time during the school day for student/teacher contact.