PATERSON – In an effort to fill its teacher gap, one of the largest districts in the state will offer a signing bonus to new teachers.

The Paterson school district ended the 2021-22 school year with 240 vacancies but filled 72 positions over the summer by holding five teacher job fairs.

As of Aug. 25, the district had a total of 168 vacancies. Forty-six of those openings are anticipated openings through resignations and retirements.

To fill the remaining positions, the Board of Education approved a plan to offer new teachers a $7,500 signing bonus in exchange for a two-year commitment to the district.

The bonus will be paid in two installments with half of the bonus being paid in the staff member’s first year and the other half paid in the second year.

“This is a tremendous step in helping the district fill its teaching vacancies, and I thank the Board of Education commissioners for agreeing to this measure that adds another reason why job-seeking educators in New Jersey should apply to Paterson Public Schools,” said Superintendent Eileen F. Shafer.

The bonuses will be funded by federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) money.

Paterson is not the first district to offer a signing bonus in New Jersey but it appears to be the highest amount.

Newark offered a $4,000 signing bonus for bilingual, ESL, science, English, math and special education teachers along with a $1,000 bonus for a referral.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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