Four Education Bills Advance Unanimously

Four Education Bills Advance Unanimously

House Democrats move initiatives to help strengthen New Mexico students, educators

Santa Fe – Today, the House Education Committee advanced four initiatives to help New Mexico students and educators. 

“These are initiatives that will make our education system stronger,” said Chair of the House Education Committee G. Andres Romero (D-Albuquerque). “These policies reflect our values as a state, and give us hope for a brighter future for New Mexico students. If our teachers have the resources they need for the classroom, then our students have what they need to succeed.”

The bills, sponsored by Democrats, are as follows:

  • House Bill 111, Cultural and Linguistic Education Support, sponsored by Rep. Tomás E. Salazar (D-Las Vegas), Rep. Linda M. Trujillo (D-Santa Fe) and Rep. Derrick J. Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo); This bill would appropriate $1.9 million to the Public Education Department to provide technical assistance and professional development for culturally and linguistically responsive education. 
  • House Bill 120, The Bilingual Teachers Preparation Act, sponsored by Rep. Tomás E. Salazar (D-Las Vegas), Rep. Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Derrick J. Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo); This bill would appropriate $5 million to educators who want to continue their education in teaching English language learners.
  • House Bill 159, The Multicultural Education Framework, sponsored by Rep. Tomás E. Salazar (D-Las Vegas), Rep. Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Derrick J. Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo); This bill would amend the Bilingual Multicultural Education Act (BMEA) and Hispanic Education Act (HEA) to create two new divisions at the Public Education Department. The bill also creates a state advisory council for bilingual multicultural education and a multicultural education framework to ensure collaboration between all PED divisions and advisory councils.
  • House Bill 171, Raising Minimum Teacher Salaries, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque); This bill would establish new minimum salary levels for teachers, increasing level-1 teacher minimums from $36,000 to $45,000, level-2 teacher minimums from $44,000 to $55,000, and level 3-A teacher minimums from $54,000 to $65,000.

In July 2018, the 1st Judicial District Court issued an initial decision and order on the Yazzie v. New Mexico and Martinez v. New Mexico education lawsuits, which found New Mexico’s public education system failed to provide a sufficient education for at-risk, English Language Learners, Native Americans, and special education students. The bills now move to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.