Stan’s Straight Talk
The New Mexico State Legislature has begun and will continue through February 17. To assist our communication with you regarding the issues from this Session, we will be communicating in several forms to help you stay informed and up to date. NMCEL/NMSSA has deployed an App that is called NMCEL and is available for free through your APP Store for Apple or Android. We invite you to download the App today and enjoy the updates during this Session through the Newsfeed. You will also see our Legislative Platform. This Newsfeed will be our ongoing update for “on-the-fly” news about legislative actions. Additionally, we will collaborate with Joe Guillen through the NMSBA Legislative Report to bring our collaboration of reporting of significant legislation as it progresses through the Session. Finally, we will provide email briefings on significant legislative action, especially as it affects the funding for public education. So, stay tuned!!
The Session has several main issues that are being contemplated as we enter the action. There is apparent agreement that the Legislature and the Governor are intent on raising educator pay significantly as well as set an increased base salary for teachers. It appears to me that it is very possible that a 7% minimum increase in educator salaries is likely and that it is quite possible that teacher starting salaries will be adopted at $50,000 tier 1; $60,000 tier 2; and $70,000 tier 3 minimums. There is convergence of thought that this substantial move is necessary to meet or exceed the regional competition (by states) so that we can better attract and retain our teachers and administrators. The 7% increase, at this point includes all categories of public school employees.
A second main issue is regarding Extended Learning Time Program (ELTP) funding. There are numerous proposals coming forward to add the equivalent of 10 days (60 hours) over the next three years to all district calendars to assure student learning time is increased. With it, is full, additional funding atop the minimum salary recommendations above and the 7% salary increase, and the additional days would be prorated at full daily value for teachers who participate in ELTP. Much of the discussion has been about teacher resiliency, community acceptance, and local decision making. This one will, likely, be well debated and the final outcome is hard to predict.
Please check your App, email, and the NMCEL Website for up-to-date information as the Session advances.