LWV NEWS RELEASE
Education was the big winner in this year’s legislative session. The League of Women Voters of New Mexico, led in this effort by Meredith Machen and assisted by Eileen VanWie, lobbied for several important bills that passed.
Besides the usual allocations that constitute more than half of the state budget, about $35 million was added to support Indian Education programs that address the Yazzie-Martinez court orders.
Across the board increases of 7 percent will go to all educational personnel.
The minimum salaries for Level 1, 2, 3 teachers will increase to $50,000, $60,000, and $70,000, respectively—this should help alleviate the severe teacher shortages in our schools, which currently have 1100 teacher vacancies.
Opportunity Scholarships will provide free tuition and fees at any of New Mexico’s public post-secondary institutions for qualified New Mexico residents. These are designed for students wishing to pursue a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, or credit-bearing certificates in workforce shortage and high-need fields, such as health care, public safety, and technology.
Other bills the League lobbied for are the Teacher Residency Act, Native American Language Certificate Salaries, and Educational Retirees Returning to Work.
The League believes that education is the foundation of a productive society and hopes that these bills will help raise New Mexico’s overall educational ranking. This legislation will help not only our children, but our overall population to thrive.