Santa Fe – NEA-NM President, Mary Parr-Sanchez releases the following statement: “Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham continues to make education a priority in NM with the proposed executive budget. This budget demonstrates the commitment from the Governor to improve public education in New Mexico and stop educator exodus which leaves many children without a high-quality educator.
From day one, Governor Lujan Grisham has listened to educators and responded to their needs and the needs of students while simultaneously managing the effects of a global pandemic. The Governor’s budget is aligned with the six priorities outlined by thousands of educators throughout the state, and it will take every piece of this and more to address the dire situation our state’s schools are in, despite the heroic efforts of hardworking teachers and other school personnel.
This budget demonstrates the commitment from the Governor to improving public education in NM by securing a stable, high quality educator work force by proposing 7 (seven) percent raise for more than 50,000 K-12 educators and school staff across the state. This is a hopeful budget proposal to begin the conversation for the 2022 Legislative session and all eyes will be on the Legislature to take the proposed budget and build upon it to create the learning conditions that every child needs to thrive.
The Governor’s budget proposal also includes additional increases to base educator salary levels in the state’s three-tier licensure system, raising minimum teacher salary levels to $50,000, $60,000, and $70,000 which will attract high quality educators from neighboring states and keep NM educators in the state. It includes increased funding for Community Schools, which emphasize a parent, student, and staff friendly approach to schooling, while embracing the community as a resource. Increased funding for teacher residency programs is another highlight in the budget and would provide mentoring and support that many aspiring teachers need to complete a well-rounded teacher preparation program and remain in the classroom while gaining valuable experience.
This budget represents commitment and progress in attaining the public schools our children deserve, and we challenge the Legislature to use these priorities as a starting point and dedicate additional resources to other pressing issues facing New Mexico’s educators, namely unaffordable healthcare costs, strengthening the educator pension fund, and tackling the availability and affordability of housing for educators across New Mexico."