House Republicans Undermine Salary Increases for Educators

House Bill 67, sponsored by Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo – 21), Chair of House Education Committee, would increase the current salary minimums for teachers over the next 5 years to $40,000 for Level I, $50,000 for Level II, and $60,000 for Level III.

Earlier this week, house Republicans, in an unconstitutional maneuver, changed HB 67, on the floor to ignore 22,000 current educators and gave a salary increase to only brand new teachers.

HB 67 was re-introduced in the form of HB 391 this morning to increase the minimum salary levels to mirror the original HB 67. Republican House Education committee members darted out of the committee before the bill could be voted on by a quorum of the committee.

Below is a statement from Chairwoman Mimi Stewart:

“Educators have not had a raise in 5 years and have had less take home pay because of health insurance costs and higher pension contributions. School Superintendents and School Boards are sounding the alarm: New Mexico is losing teachers because of low salaries and an unfair, overly burdensome teacher and principal evaluation system imposed by the Governor and Secretary Designee.

If we don’t honor the knowledge and skills of veteran teachers, we would be saying their experience is not valued and they are more likely to leave the profession. Our school districts are asking for a professional salary to help to recruit and retain teachers for our New Mexico students.

House Republicans are playing politics with teacher’s salaries, plain and simple.”