NEA-New Mexico President Mary Parr Sanchez issues the following comment on the New Mexico Public Education Department’s proposed budget increase of only 5 percent:
“If the preliminary budget figures being discussed by legislative leaders and the PED are adopted, New Mexico’s educators will be extremely disappointed that once again our students next year will not be provided a sufficient education.
“With anything less than another substantial increase in total compensation for teachers and other school employees, the dire shortages of teachers will continue. A small increase this year signals that last year was a one-and done, and things are back to the less-than-sufficient business-as-usual approach.
“We agree with the assessment of last year’s insufficient effort to provide the help our students need provided by Ms. Yazzie, plaintiff in the Martinez/Yazzie v State of New Mexico case: ‘The funding increases for public education passed in the last legislative session only serve to backfill budgets and do not return basic school programming to 2008 levels. They will not adequately cover the critical programs needed to improve outcomes for all students — especially for our Native American children, our Latino/Hispanic children, our English language learners, our low-income children and our children with special needs.’ New Mexico’s students need our lawmakers to provide the promised second year of the moonshot to continue to make progress.”