Governor enacts historic raises for New Mexico teachers, bolsters state education staff
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday was joined by educators, students and legislators as she signed multiple pieces of priority legislation into law strengthening the state’s educator pipeline and build up our public education system for students, families and education professionals.
Among those proposals are:
- Senate Bill 1, which increases the minimum salaries by $10,000 for all three tiers of teachers. Coupled with 7% raises in the budget, New Mexico teachers will be the highest paid in the region. (Sponsors: Sen. Mimi Stewart, Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, Rep. Debra Sariñana)
- House Bill 73, shortens the amount of time teachers must wait to return to the classroom to work after retirement, helping to address the state’s teacher shortage. (Sponsors: Rep. Joy Garratt, Rep. Phelps Anderson, Rep. Ryan Lane)
- House Bill 13, which increases the stipend for resident teachers, provides stipends for mentor teachers involved in the state’s teacher residency program and requires teachers who go through the program to work in the same district for three years – providing a more stable base of educators in rural areas. (Sponsors: Rep. Debra Sariñana, Rep. Joy Garratt, Sen. William Soules, Sen. Mimi Stewart, Rep. Ryan Lane)
- Senate Bill 36, which increases employer contributions to the educational retirement fund, ensuring the fund remains solvent and decreases teacher contributions, allowing teachers to take more money home. (Sponsors: Sen. Mimi Stewart, Rep. Natalie Figueroa)
“New Mexico cannot fully realize a cradle-to-career educational system that lifts up every student and family without supporting our educators,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This session, we made enormous strides in demonstrating that we are a state that respects and values these professionals who make a difference in the lives of our children every single day. This is an excellent place to build from, and we will continue to use every avenue to build up New Mexico schools, students, families and teachers.”
“The bills Gov. Lujan Grisham is signing today send a loud, clear message that New Mexico values and supports our professional educators,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “We are fortunate to have an executive and a Legislature that are willing to invest in this precious resource because they understand how vital great teachers are to student academic achievement and well-being.”
“I think we should name 2022 the ‘Year of the Teacher.’ Our educators have been going above and beyond for a long time, and in the last two years they have truly demonstrated what it means to be dedicated to this noble profession,” said Sen. Mimi Stewart. “The legislation Governor Lujan Grisham signed into law today reflects how much we value and respect their many contributions. This is going to represent a real turning point for education in New Mexico: more people being drawn to a career in teaching, and greater retention within our current workforce. I’d like to thank Governor Lujan Grisham for putting her support behind these long-awaited pay and retirement contribution increases by making educator compensation such a high priority this legislative session.”
“Senate Bill 1 is truly transformational. Educators on New Mexico’s 3-Tier system are already seeing the salutary impact. Incoming educators are seeing our profession as a viable career path, veteran educators are being acknowledged and respected for their immeasurable contributions to our system of public education, and our communities can look forward to their neighborhood schools beginning to fill our 1,000+ classroom vacancies,” said New Mexico American Federation of Teachers President Whitney Holland. “Senate Bill 1 is the result of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s commitment to an ‘Educational Moonshot’ for our public schools, and the relentless advocacy of educators, parents, and the legislative sponsors of this bill Senator Mimi Stewart and Representative Debra Sariñana. New Mexico educators are sincerely thankful for their efforts on behalf of our shared profession.”
“The recent 30-day legislative session provided the perfect opportunity for policy makers to put forward a new vision for education in New Mexico. The Governor’s education budget, now passed by the legislature, is a bold first step,” said Mary Parr-Sanchez, the president of National Education Association New Mexico. “NEA-NM wants to express our appreciation to the Governor for the signing of SB1, which significantly increases educator pay and supports New Mexico educators. Governor Lujan Grisham is a fierce advocate for public education, and she knows how deeply committed educators are to their students. The Governor’s partnership on teacher pay and other public education issues is valued and critical to the success of our students.”
“Making it easier for our retired teachers to return to work will mean more experienced, high quality teachers in our classrooms and better outcomes for our students,” said Rep. Joy Garratt.
“New Mexico students and parents are the real winners today,” said Rep. Phelps Anderson.
“Pairing resident teachers with highly skilled educators who will work alongside them for an entire year will ensure that our students have well-prepared teachers ready to teach on day one,” said Rep. Debra Sariñana. “This is an important step towards guaranteeing all our children get the high-quality education they deserve and goes a long way toward solving our teacher shortages and ensuring high quality professionals in the classroom.”
“I am pleased that the Legislature made it a priority to resolve New Mexico’s teacher shortages, and HB 13 and HB 73 go a long way toward addressing both the immediacy of the problem as well as the long-term aspects of our teacher shortages,” said Rep. Ryan Lane. “These bills will help train and mentor soon-to-be teachers as well as help keep our most experienced and successful teachers in the classroom.”
“With the signing of HB 43 this morning, Charter Schools Facility Improvements, I am encouraged for the future of charter schools,” said Rep. Joshua Hernandez. “This bill will give these schools a realistic path to build and expand their facilities to continue to build a positive beginning for our children’s futures.”
The governor also signed on Tuesday:
- House Bill 57, which allows PED to use data reported in FY20 instead of FY22 to calculate the transportation distributions for FY23. This is a one-time fix to hold the transportation formula harmless due to the pandemic. (Sponsored by Rep. G. Andres Romero)
- HB 119, which provides for an additional state distribution for school districts levying the Public School Capital Improvements Tax (commonly referred to as “SB-9” or the “two-mill levy”). (Sponsored by Rep. G. Andres Romero)
- HB 43, which authorizes the New Mexico Finance Authority to make loans to charter schools for renovation, construction, purchase or expansion of a charter school facility or to pay off charter school lease-purchase agreements through a new Charter School Facility Revolving Fund. (Sponsored by Rep. Joy Garratt, Rep. Meredith A. Dixon, Rep. Cathrynn N. Brown, Rep. Joshua Hernandez and Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill)