56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023


Craig W. Brandt and Gay G. Kernan










     SECTION 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:


          A. As used in this section:

                (1) "industry-recognized credential" means a credential that is recognized by business and industry at the local, state or national level, which includes a verification of an individual's qualification or competence;

                (2) "program" means the career development success program;

                (3) "qualified industry credential program" means a career technical education program that, upon completion, results in an industry-recognized credential;

                (4) "qualified workplace training program" means an internship program, apprenticeship program or pre-apprenticeship program; and

                (5) "school district" includes charter schools.

          B. The "career development success program" is created as a three-year pilot program administered by the department to provide financial incentives to school districts to encourage students enrolled in grades nine through twelve to enroll in and successfully complete qualified industry credential programs or qualified workplace training programs. Each participating school district, as provided in Subsection D of this section, may receive at least two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and up to seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) for each student who, in the preceding budget year, successfully earned an industry-recognized credential through a qualified industry credential program or a qualified workplace training program.

          C. Each school district may decide annually whether to participate in the program.

          D. Funding for the program shall be distributed as follows:

                (1) for each budget year, the department shall distribute to each participating school district an amount of at least two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and up to seven hundred fifty dollars ($750), multiplied by the number of students reported by the participating school district as successfully earning an industry-recognized credential by completing a qualified industry credential program or a qualified workplace training program; except that a single participating school district shall not receive a distribution for more than ten percent of the total number of completed industry-recognized credentials reported by school districts;

                (2) the department shall establish criteria to create a tiered system of funding incentives with greater funding amounts for qualified industry credential programs or qualified workplace training programs that are more costly to provide;

                (3) a student at each participating school district may generate only one award, even if the student earns more than one industry-recognized credential; and

                (4) if the statewide sum of awards exceeds the amount of available money appropriated for awards, funds shall be reduced proportionally to cover all eligible incentive awardees.

          E. The department shall promulgate rules for the administration of the program, including maintaining a list of eligible industry-recognized credentials, and the collection and analysis of student, program and instructor data.

          F. The department shall develop and maintain annually the list of industry-recognized credentials in partnership with the workforce solutions department, the higher education department, New Mexico's community colleges and employers from in-demand industries.

          G. The department shall, at least annually, provide to each school district that does not participate in the program information explaining the program, including the industry-recognized credentials for which a participating school district may receive a distribution, the amounts of the distributions and the requirements and procedures for participating in the program.

          H. The "career development success program fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund shall be nonreverting until the career development success program has ended, at which time the unencumbered or unexpended balance remaining in the fund shall revert to the general fund. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants and donations. The fund shall be administered by the department, and money in the fund is appropriated to the department to establish the program. Expenditures from the fund shall be by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of public education or the secretary's authorized representative.

          I. The department shall provide annual and final reports to the legislature through the legislative education study committee and the governor on the efficacy of the program, which shall include the following information:

                (1) the number and name of school districts that participated in the program;

                (2) the number of students in each year of the program that the participating school districts reported as earning an industry-recognized credential, disaggregated based on student demographics;

                (3) the names and count of specific industry-recognized credentials earned;

                (4) the total amount appropriated for the program and the amounts distributed pursuant to Subsection D of this section, in total and to each participating school district;

                (5) to the extent information is available, whether more students met the requirements for funding under the program after the program was enacted as compared to before the program was enacted; and

                (6) whether the students participating in the program graduated from high school and whether, after graduation, they enrolled in post-secondary education, enlisted in the military or entered the workforce, and to the extent practicable, whether the student's career is related to the industry-recognized credential completed."

     SECTION 2. APPROPRIATION.--One million two hundred thousand dollars ($1,200,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the career development success program fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2024 and subsequent fiscal years to carry out the purposes of the career development success program. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.

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