Albuquerque, NM―Teach Plus New Mexico today issued the following statement on the state’s recently released budget priorities.
“Teach Plus teachers and Teach Plus New Mexico are excited about the opportunities for education within the budget plans released by Governor Martinez and the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) last week. Both budgets agree on rating education as a top priority and call for increased spending on public schools. We’re especially pleased that the Governor's plan recommends an increase of funding for PreK programs, a move for which Teach Plus teachers are currently advocating, and that the LFC supports increased funding for K3 Plus programs, which provide New Mexico’s students with 25 additional days of instructional support. We are happy that our partnered advocacy efforts regarding additional funding for PreK services were met with an immediate response from the Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski, increasing their initial funding request from 5 million to 8 million. We challenge the NMPED and the LFC to continue this growth to 10 million for 2018-19.
Teach Plus Policy Fellows are recommending to expand high quality PreK in the state and are advocating for a full state expansion over the next five years. Darlene Fortier, a 3rd grade teacher at Cochiti Elementary School in Peña Blanca and a Teach Plus Policy Fellow, said: "The benefits of Pre-K extend far beyond social and emotional wellbeing. Studies have shown that children who participate in Pre-K outperform their non-participatory peers in reading and math by 3rd grade."
Under Governor Martinez’ plan, teachers across the state would also have the opportunity to earn a bonus for their effectiveness rating. Hope Morales, Teach Plus New Mexico State Policy Director, stated: "Teachers deserve the opportunity to earn bonuses for their hard work and accomplishments. The Governor's pay stipend offers New Mexico’s teachers this opportunity. Increased teacher compensation, partnered with a strong mentorship program and high quality professional development will support and retain educators in our state and our students will benefit from high quality teachers. We look forward to a productive legislative session that will focus on our students, celebrate our educators, and continue to move our state forward.”
About Teach Plus
Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus programs are designed to place highly effective teachers at the center of improvements in schools as leaders of their peers and outside schools influencing policy decisions that affect their classrooms. The programs develop excellent teachers into leaders who achieve change and mobilize others in their school, district, state, and across the nation to bring change to scale. Since its inception in 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 29,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country. teachplus.org