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From the Roundhouse to the Schoolhouse

Educators, families, and community members are coming together to advocate for our public school students. We’re speaking up for fully-funded public schools, dismantling unjust systems, and giving our students the opportunities they need to succeed. During the session, check this page for: Breaking news alerts; Meaningful ways to take action; and Weekly updates on legislation.
NEA NM members at the roundhouse

The Second Session of the 56th Legislature

January 2, 2024 - January 12: Legislation may be prefiled

January 16: Opening day (noon)

January 18: NEA-NM Lobby Day

January 31: Deadline for introduction

February 15: Session ends (noon)

March 6: Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed

May 15: Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date

Legislative Update

Contact your legislators!

House Bill 2 or The Budget Bill passed out of the House of Representatives (1/31) amended as follows: 

"Money appropriated to the public education department shall not be used to implement or enforce any rule establishing a minimum requirement of one hundred eighty instructional days per school year." 

HB 2 – The Budget Bill - is now in the Senate Finance Committee, where no doubt there will be changes.  As of now, some Highlights from the Bill: 

*A 2% compensation proposal has been described as a cost-of-living adjustment and an additional 2% average raise for a total of 4% average salary increase.  All public educators (including transportation and higher education) will receive an average 4% raise.

  • $21 million for universal free meals for students (combination of FY ’24 & ’25)
  • $5 million for school leader professional development 
  • $500 thousand for National Board-Certified Teacher candidate scholarships 
  • $55 million for instructional materials 
  • $14 million for early literacy and reading supports 

*$62.769 million for a 2% raise for K-12, K-12 Transportation, and Higher Education public educators (COLA) 

*$62.769 million for an additional 2% average raise for K-12, K-12 Transportation, and Higher Education public educators 

  • $49 million for teacher mentorship, CTE programs, and community school programs 
  • $5 million for student attendance support interventions 
  • $2 million for the construction of libraries on tribal lands 
  • $13.3 million for funding extended learning programs for tribal and rural communities 
  • $40 million for increased career technical education pilot programs in K-12 schools 
  • $8 million for additional funding for community school programs (NEA-NM supports 12.5 million) 
  • $15 million for summer reading intervention programs 
  • $50 million for the Tribal Education Trust Fund 
  • $1 million for dual-credit programs for students 
  • $10 million for student scholarships for those entering graduate-level STEM programs 
  • $10 million for scholarships for those pursuing social worker degrees at the BA or MA level 
  • $20 million for educator clinical practice programs (residencies, etc.) 
  • $5 million for the teacher loan repayment fund 
  • $20 million for NM Community Colleges and Universities to offset costs associated with skilled trades programs that grant certification or licensure that are otherwise ineligible for scholarship funding. 

Important Funding that is not in the budget:

HB 199- Educational Assistant Salary - would place a $15.00/hour minimum wage for hourly education workers into law and provide a $30,000 minimum salary for all public educators in K-12 schools. This bill has the support of the Legislative Education Study Committee, but it is not in the budget bill. NEA-NM supports HB 199

HB 215- (Rep Yanira Gurrola) This bill would eliminate waivers and average language, set up a reporting portal for violations and greatly reduce class size in K-12 will not be heard this session.   

HM 20- (Rep. GA Romero) Study Class Size Reduction requests that the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) do a comprehensive interim study of class size in NM, including the potential effects on student outcomes, staffing, and funding. NEA-NM supports HM 20  

House Bill 171 (GA Romero/Lane/Stewart): SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

House Bill 171 is a reintroduced version of legislation from the last session that, despite passing the legislature, was vetoed by Governor Lujan Grisham. HB 171 aims to update New Mexico’s graduation requirements and create opportunities for local school districts to offer courses which reflect the needs of their students and the interests of their community.

HB 171 would keep a requirement for a minimum of 24 credits to graduate, remove the Algebra II requirement for graduation (while still requiring that Algebra II be offered), increase flexibility for electives which could be used for CTE or foreign language arts, and create more opportunities for offering financial literacy, without mandating it as required class.

HM 32- (Garratt, GA Romero, Herrera, Baca, Mirabal Moya, Ezzell) Compensation for Higher Ed Staff Study:

HM 32 requests a comprehensive study, including a review of compensation data for temporary and non-temporary instructional staff, and incorporating content such as salaries and benefits, counts, titles, credits or contract hours taught, other required duties, and course overload policies for all public postsecondary educational institutions in the state. The New Mexico Higher Education Department (HED) is requested to work in collaboration with the Legislative Finance Committee and the Legislative Education Study Committee and to consult with faculty and instructional staff, directors from diverse department and programs, representatives of bargaining units, human resource managers, chief academic officers, and administrators at each of the state’s two- and four-year public postsecondary education institutions.

House Memorial 32 now heads to the full House of Representatives for final adoption. It does not require the Governor’s signature to enact. NEA-NM Supports HM 32.


SJR 5 would ask New Mexico voters through a constitutional amendment to permanently protect the Retiree Healthcare Authority. 

If approved by legislators, and then New Mexico voters, SJR 5 would not only ensure the long-term health and status of this program, but also fulfill the expectation of the retired and active public employees who contributed and are contributing towards future retirement benefits during their public service. 

New Mexico's Retiree Healthcare Authority currently serves approximately 67,000 educational retirees and 93,000 active participants from all sectors of New Mexico’s public employees. It is estimated that 10% of New Mexico's population will be served by the NMRHCA.

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