Governor Lujan Grisham Has Delivered for Educators, While GOP Tries To Stand in Her Way
This week Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her executive recommendations for the 2022 New Mexico Budget, including earmarking more than $276 million dollars to raise every New Mexico educator’s salary, including new educators. Parents know that when teachers are paid competitive, fair salaries, New Mexico students receive the high quality education they deserve. But while Governor Lujan Grisham and Democratic leaders in the legislature have championed significant improvements for educators over the past few years, Republicans have consistently tried to stand in their way.
If the New Mexico GOP was still in charge, here’s what educators would be facing:
- Under GOP control, New Mexico was ranked 39th in the country for starting teacher salaries (with Governor Lujan Grisham’s new proposal, New Mexico is estimated to have the 3rd highest starting teacher salaries in the country)
- New Mexico teachers would be earning an average of 35% less per year in base salaries.
- New Mexico educators’ last raise would have been 5 years ago (and the last one before that would have been 20 years ago)
- Hundreds of educators would still be struggling to pay off their student loans (without the help from the state that Governor Lujan Grisham provided)
- Some education assistants would be still excluded from the teacher scholarship program
- New Mexico teachers would have little to no professional development opportunities.
- Teachers and schools across New Mexico would have fewer chromebooks and digital devices to help them in their classrooms.
- New Mexico educators would still be facing long licensure processing times, without the help of an online portal.
- Teachers would have no financial assistance in getting their National Board Certifications, resulting in lower salaries, lower retention rates, and less expertise in school buildings.
- New Mexico educators would still be forced to teach to standardized tests and would be limited by the punitive school grading system.
And this list is non-exhaustive! The truth is, New Mexico Republicans have demonstrated again and again that they don’t value educators. And like every parent and teacher knows, if you don’t value educators, you don’t value education. Getting the best teachers into our schools (and keeping them there) is an important step to making sure New Mexico students have access to a high quality education. The New Mexico GOP would rather leave teachers behind and let students flounder.