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Lawmakers approve $10k raises for many New Mexico teachers

February 15, 2022 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A measure that will increase minimum salaries for New Mexico teachers and counselors by as much as 22% cleared its final legislative hurdle late Monday with a unanimous vote in the House.

The bill, approved by the Senate last week, now heads to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. She is expected to sign it and has been touting it the largest increase in pay for New Mexico teachers in years.

Teachers and counselors in New Mexico are currently paid a minimum salary for nine-month contracts based on three tiers that factor in experience and continuing education: $40,000 for tier one, $50,000 for tier two and $60,000 for tier three.

The legislation would fund school districts to raise each of those salary tiers by $10,000, starting in July.

Many New Mexico schools pay minimum or near-minimum salaries, particularly in rural areas where the cost of living is low. Starting teachers in those areas can expect the highest increase in pay, around 22%.

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The minimums wouldn’t help Indigenous language teachers who are paid as teaching assistants.

Lawmakers are considering raises for other school workers in the final days of the session, which ends Thursday. Those proposals include a 7% wage increase for all school workers.

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Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.