The NEA-New Mexico response to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s budget proposal:
“The emphasis on education, student success and other support for our state’s children in Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement of her Executive Budget Proposal for fiscal year 2020 is enormously appreciated by educators statewide,” NEA-New Mexico President Betty Patterson said. “The budget proposal is a wonderful starting point for the budget debate ahead in the legislature. We will continue to advocate for even larger steps forward to fully comply with the Yazzie/Martinez v. New Mexico ruling by Judge Singleton.”
The budget proposal supports New Mexico student success with expanded programs and significant pay raises for teachers and other education employees designed to recruit and retain quality teachers and other education employees. The proposed six percent minimal raises for all school employees and a new $12 minimum wage, along with $41,000 Level I, $50,000 Level II, and $60,000 Level III as proposed by our Governor is a very welcome huge stride in the right direction.
New Mexico educators in every corner of our state are signing a petition calling for a $15 per hour minimum public school employee wage, and a ten percent minimal raise for all school employees (https://nea-nm.org/nea-nm-pay-increase-petition/).
“Along with the Governor’s earlier announcement removing the counter-productive emphasis in teacher evaluation of standardized student test scores, these higher salaries will encourage many current New Mexico teachers and education employees to continue helping students achieve success. We also support the Governor’s plan to spend nearly $8 million to fund her promise to create a fair and balanced accountability system, including developing an improved evaluation system that emphasizes best professional practices, rather than the punitive measures of the last administration.
These moves will encourage teachers and other education employees to stay in our state and continue serving our students,” Patterson notes.
NEA-New Mexico also applauds the Governor for the $113 million to increase the at-risk index in the funding formula to provide for low-income students, minority students, English language learners and students with disabilities; $60 million for increasing the number of pre-kindergarten slots, the number of high-quality Pre-K educators, and financial aid for early childhood educators; $6 million for the Indian Education Fund; and $5 million for a program to support educators who have had to fund classroom supplies out of pocket, among numerous other new or enhanced funding initiatives that will boost student achievement and learning environments. NEA – New Mexico will continue advocating for greater funding for those programs, in the hope the State will fully comply with the ruling by Judge Singleton in Yazzie/Martinez v. New Mexico.