Rep. Christine Trujillo Wants to Boost Pay for Early Childhood Educators

Rep. Christine Trujillo Wants to Boost Pay for Early Childhood Educators

HB 135 Increases Appropriation for Retention & Professional Development

Santa Fe, NM – Rep. Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque) is a longtime crusader for early childhood education and early childhood educators. This is her fifth year of sponsoring appropriations bills that fund workforce and professional development programs to increase the quality of early education for children from birth to age 5. This year, she is proposing to double that funding from $1 to $2 million for FY 18.

"Evidence has shown us time and time again that investing in early childhood education pays off. We see increased attendance in college and increased earning potential. We see kids that are less likely to commit crimes or become teen parents,” said Rep. Trujillo. “New Mexico’s path to success starts with high-quality and early education.”

Funds appropriated by HB 135 provide early educators with scholarships and incentive wage supplements. 97% of early education teachers are women, according to the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. While education and training requirements have been steadily increasing, workforce pay has not.

“As any parent knows, high-quality educators and childcare providers are critical to our children’s early experiences,” said Rep. Trujillo. “Yet too many of our hardworking educators are underpaid or even near the poverty level, even as they continue to earn credentials and higher degrees. We must better compensate the invaluable members of this workforce.”

Rep. Trujillo has been a lifetime crusader for both education and workers. She is a past six-term President of the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico and spent 12 years fighting for the rights of New Mexican workers as the President of the New Mexico Federation of Labor – AFL-CIO.

 House Bill 135 is scheduled to be heard tomorrow morning at 8:30am in Room 309 by the House Education Committee, on which Rep. Trujillo sits.