Another year in the books. This time of year, as I recall, is one of considerable activity as you prepare your budget for next year, perform those final evaluations, set up staffing for next year, graduate those students that you have worked so hard to get across the stage, and find the inspiration to begin “visioning” where you and your district are heading next year. From my chair, I want to recognize your hard work and give you thanks on behalf of all of us in the system of public education in New Mexico. Recently, I found data that shows your hard work is accomplishing many of our goals. For example, our graduation rate in New Mexico has been on a steady increase and has moved New Mexico onto par with our nation and in many cases, beyond – congratulations!
The Senate Education Committee passed SB 1 which is the major funding bill for public schools. I sent you the bill analysis with an embedded table for your review. I spent a great deal of time with the analysts from both the LESC and LFC to understand how they built the funding numbers. The following is a quick recap:
1. The table is built on the first assumption being and increase (including benefits) of a 6.5% increase in teaching salaries,
a 7.5% increase in principal salaries, and a 4% increase in all other salaries; THEN
2. Instituting the new minimum salaries for teachers of SB 47; THEN
3. extended Learning Time adding the equivalency of 10 days (80 hours that include extra teacher PD); AND
4. Assuming all schools and their teachers who qualify for K-5 + adding 25 days
One of my husband's high school football coaches once said that, "Success happens when opportunity and preparation collide." I can attest to that the educators of New Mexico are well prepared. I have watched in awe as educational leaders have traveled across the state to come together to create an educational plan that will positively support all NM students. With all our educational partners including our new governor-elect, Michelle Lujan-Grisham, we have the opportunity to make some positive changes to public education that will improve access to foundational programs for all kids! Success lies ahead...
Thank you for your continued commitment to our NM kids!
Maria L. Jaramillo, M.S. CCC-SLP