New Jersey public school teachers are accepting smaller raises in the wake of the ailing economy and state aid cuts. Statistics compiled by the New Jersey School Boards Association show that 33 new collective-bargaining agreements resulted in an average 3.35% pay increase for teachers, down from 4.35% in 2009.
Teachers in 12 districts agreed to Gov. Chris Christie’s request to freeze teacher pay for one year.
Overall, state aid to schools has been cut by $820 million. With New Jersey property owners paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation, school districts are being squeezed—and are in no mood for a tax hike that could free up money for pay raises.