Legislation to prohibit school districts from providing tuition reimbursement or salary augmentation for post-graduate degrees obtained from unaccredited institutions of higher education in order to crack down on diploma mill abuse was signed into law Thursday by Governor Chris Christie. The bill sponsored by Senator Richard Codey establishes certain minimum restrictions on the conditions under which a board of education in the State of New Jersey can provide tuition reimbursement or salary boosts for its employees based on additional coursework at an institution of higher education.
Under the bill, in order to be eligible for reimbursement or additional compensation for post-graduate coursework, an employee would have to do the following:
• attend a duly-authorized, accredited institution of higher education;
• obtain prior approval from the district superintendent. The employee would be able to appeal a denial from the superintendent to the board of education. The board would have the responsibility of approving enrollment for the district superintendent;
• only apply those courses that are related to the employee’s current of future job responsibilities for eligibility of tuition reimbursement or additional compensation.