Bills Focusing On Education And Safety Pass Committee


The House Education Committee passed bills today that would help preserve  Native language and cultures and help students continue safe in-person learning across New Mexico. 

HB 60, Native American Language Certificate Salaries, would increase the salaries for teachers of Native languages by making those who hold a certificate in Native language and cultures, also known as a 520 certificate, eligible for a level 2 license salary. The bill, which also puts the tribes and pueblos in charge of establishing proficiency criteria and renewal procedures for the 520 certificate, passed with a 9-1 vote.

“Preserving Native language is vital to the culture and traditions of our pueblos, tribes, and nations,” said Representative Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo), the bill’s sponsor. “This bill would help ensure teachers of these languages are valued for their crucial contributions to protecting our culture.” 

HB 142, “Protective Personal Equipment for Schools,” appropriates funds to purchase personal protective equipment for students during the current school year. This would help schools resume safe, in-person instruction. The bill was sponsored by Representative Linda Serrato (D-Santa Fe) and passed with bipartisan support with a vote of 7-1.

“Providing each school with appropriate PPE is an important step to prevent further learning loss and help working New Mexican families get back to normal,” said Representative Serrato.

The Roundhouse is open to the public for the session. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the building. Members of the public can view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.