New Jersey Implementing Vaccination or Testing Mandate for All Educational Personnel

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT - SEPTEMBER 16: Teacher Elizabeth DeSantis, wearing a mask and face shield, helps a first grader during reading class at Stark Elementary School on September 16, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Most students at Stamford Public Schools are taking part in a hybrid education model, where they attend in-school …
John Moore/Getty Images

New Jersey is forcing all K-12 educators and personnel to be vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus or submit themselves to routine testing, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Monday.

All teachers and staff in the Garden State must either be fully vaccinated by October 18 or submit themselves to weekly testing, the Democrat governor announced. The same rules apply to state employees.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday called on lawmakers to send him legislation ensuring that state residents can pay property taxes as charitable contributions to skirt the federal tax overhaul.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

“This executive order applies to all public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools.  It also applies to ALL individuals employed by a school – whether they work full time or part time,” Murphy said:

This month, Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon told members they should be “prepared for vaccine mandates upon returning to work” and either “be vaccinated or get tested once a week at your own (co-pay) expense.”

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) leaders also released a statement, praising the mandate as “another example of Gov. Murphy’s unwavering commitment to the health and safety of NJEA members and the students we serve.”

They continued:

For months now, NJEA has strongly supported and publicly promoted vaccination for all eligible individuals. We ran ads last spring featuring our members talking about the importance of vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool we have to better protect our schools and communities against this pandemic and the terrible toll it continues to take. Public health experts agree on the importance of widespread vaccination. That is why we strongly agree that Gov. Murphy’s executive order is appropriate and responsible under current conditions.

We will continue to urge everyone who is eligible and able to get vaccinated. Along with masking and other COVID-19 safety measures, that is the best way to keep all of our communities safe and to move New Jersey through this pandemic.

Similarly, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced on Monday the city will require all teachers and staff to be fully vaccinated. They must receive their first dose by September 27. There does not appear to be a testing option.

California and Washington State have taken similar routes, requiring educators to be fully vaccinated with limited exceptions.

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