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Friday
Jan252019

Landmark Education Bill Passes Committee

SB 1 invests $315 million in public schools, salaries, at-risk students
& extended education

The Senate Education Committee on Friday unanimously voted in favor of SB 1, the landmark education bill sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart to increase teacher salaries, support at-risk students and expand extended learning opportunities.

“SB 1 is the culmination of the hard work of the Legislative Education Study Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee--along with input from educators, community members and policy experts,” Stewart said. “This landmark bill is the largest new investment in New Mexico’s public education in more than 15 years.”

Among the many education improvements included in SB 1 is an increase in salaries for teachers, making the base salary for Tier One teachers $40,000, Tier Two $50,000 and Tier Three $60,000.

"As a retired educator, I know how hard teachers work—in their classrooms and to make ends meet at home,” Stewart said. “The salary increases established in SB 1 go a long way to showing educators that we value their work and their expertise.”

The bill further extends the successful K-3 Plus program—which adds additional instructional days over the summer for students—to a K-5 Plus program.

“Our students, especially at-risk students, benefit from additional time in the classroom,” Stewart said. “It’s that simple. SB 1 provides even more New Mexico students with the opportunity for extended learning, which will lead to academic success.”

Overall, SB1 invests $315 million in new money into the state’s education system to address the disparities highlighted in the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit.

“From increasing educator salaries to making extended education opportunities available to more students, this bill goes a long way to addressing education inequities in New Mexico,” Stewart said. “However, SB 1 is one bill among many that we will be considering and supporting to move our schools, our students and our educators forward.”

Following Friday’s bipartisan vote in support of SB 1, the bill moves to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

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A retired teacher, Senate Majority Whip Mimi Stewart has served two years as chair of the Legislative Education Study Committee. Prior to becoming a state Senator, Stewart served 20 years in the New Mexico House of Representatives, where she chaired the Education Committee. Stewart lives in Albuquerque. Learn more at www.mimistewart.org and follow her on Twitter @Sen_MimiStewart and on Instagram @mimistewart9.