56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024


Yanira Gurrola and Raymundo Lara and G. Andrés Romero

and Joy Garratt and Elizabeth "Liz" Thomson








     WHEREAS, fewer than one in four students in New Mexico scored proficient in reading and math on the 2022 national assessment of educational progress, ranking the state lowest in the nation; and

     WHEREAS, the percentages of economically disadvantaged students, English learners, Native American students and students with disabilities scoring proficient on statewide assessments in New Mexico continue to fall short of statewide averages; and

     WHEREAS, a wealth of research demonstrates that teachers have a greater impact on student achievement than any other school-based factor; and

     WHEREAS, a finding of the consolidated Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico lawsuit pointed out a critical need for highly effective educators serving students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, English language learners and Native American students; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico continues to suffer from teacher shortages in hard-to-staff areas, and the turnover rate of teachers in New Mexico has increased over the past three years; and rather than choosing traditional teacher licensure pathways, more teacher candidates are completing alternative licensure pathways, which provide little to no classroom experience prior to teaching; and

     WHEREAS, following the increases in teacher compensation enacted by the legislature in 2022, teacher salaries in New Mexico are now regionally competitive, but salaries remain about five thousand dollars ($5,000) below the projected national average; and

     WHEREAS, although the teacher pipeline grew following the legislative action raising teacher salary minimums, the salary increases were accompanied by continued concerns regarding salary compaction; and

     WHEREAS, despite increases, New Mexico teacher salaries have not kept pace with rising costs of living, and the average teacher salary in the state falls below a living wage in New Mexico's highest living wage counties; and

     WHEREAS, national research indicates that competitive compensation is a key contributor to successful teacher recruitment and retention; and

     WHEREAS, national research also indicates that teacher differential compensation can be an effective mechanism to reduce teacher shortages among hard-to-staff positions, such as bilingual and special education teachers; and

     WHEREAS, credential differentials for endorsements and certifications, such as the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate and reading endorsements, as are provided to national board for professional teaching standards certified school personnel, could prove effective incentives for teachers to pursue these valuable accreditations; and

     WHEREAS, studies suggest that additional career advancement opportunities for teachers and innovative staffing patterns may reduce teacher attrition and improve student outcomes, and pilot programs of such initiatives in New Mexico public schools show promising initial impacts on student achievement;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the legislative education study committee be requested to study compensation and career advancement opportunities for New Mexico public school teachers, including salary differential pay based on teacher credentials or staffing needs; costs of living and housing availability statewide; and career advancement opportunities that do not require teachers to leave the classroom and that better support the needs of teachers and students; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in performing the work for the study, the legislative education study committee be requested to work with representatives from the public education department, the legislative finance committee, the higher education department, teacher unions, teacher preparation programs and the leadership of school districts and charter schools; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the legislative education study committee be requested to submit a copy of its research findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature and to publish its report by December 31, 2024; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the director of the legislative education study committee and the secretary of public education for appropriate distribution.

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