The budget (House Bill 2) that passed the House and is on the way to the Senate is pretty good for public education. It has significant raises for some but not equal raises for all. We must contact the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) now!
Your union stands firm in our commitment to the 3 Rs- Respecting, Recruiting, and Retaining all educators. We must staff our schools for students’ needs. This includes counselors, social workers, special education therapists, nurses and all other related services educators who are critical to meeting the priority needs of students.
We must also stand in solidarity with educational assistants, secretaries, clerks, cafeteria staff, custodians, and bus drivers. They are essential school employees and must be paid a better wage.
Take action now to make this happen! IF YOU ARE AN ESSENTIAL & RELATED SERVICES EDUCATOR, IT IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO ACT NOW!
Below, you will find a stem for an email to help you tell the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) your personal story about how the following funding increases will positively affect you and your students. We need you to send your advocacy via email by this Saturday afternoon. It is most powerful to send each senator an individual email. The body of your email can be the same. The SFC will take action on this budget Sunday or Monday.
Here are the members of the SFC
Chairman Senator George Muñoz
Vice Chair Nancy Rodriguez
Senator William Sharer
Senator William Burt
Senator Pete Campos
Senator Crystal Diamond
Senator Roberto Gonzales
Senator Siah Correa Hemphill
Senator Michael Padilla
Senator Jeff Steinborn
Senator Pat Woods
These are the individual emails of the members of the SFC:
STEM FOR THE BODY OF THE LETTER
Thank you for your service to all New Mexicans.
(Introduce yourself as an educator. Give specifics on your job, include that you are a parent/grandparent, etc. if that applies to you).
I would like you to consider a few amendments to the budget (House Bill 2). There are 3 actions that I humbly request your committee take to address these issues in the budget.
- Increase the current HB 2 Allocation for Hard-to-Staff Positions. This would provide funds to local districts to address local salary needs. There is a big difference between funded increases for teachers, an average of 20%, and all other licensed educators at 7%.
Currently, there is $10M in the budget for local needs like this. Just adding $20M more would make a big difference to employees in every school district. Please increase the $10M funding level to $30M.
(Tell your personal story about how we must staff our schools for students’ needs. This includes counselors, social workers, special education therapists, and nurses who are all critical to meeting the priority needs of students.)
- Provide Funding for Senate Bill 132 (Stewart) to ensure no educational assistant in a New Mexico K-12 public school would earn less than $20,000 per year. Combined with current funding levels in HB 2, enacting this piece of legislation is estimated to cost $2-3M.
(Tell your personal story about how EAs, transportation and cafeteria workers, clerical staff, and custodians help you serve your students.)
- Place a $15/hour Minimum Wage in Statute for K-12 and higher education hourly workers in HB 2. This will lead to greater security for educators’ families and an increased quality of life. This would be a potential life changing raise for many of our lowest paid educators and a boon for New Mexico’s economy.
(Tell your personal story about staffing shortages among EAs, transportation and cafeteria workers, clerical staff, and custodians hampers you from serving your students. If you have personal knowledge of the financial hardships these role groups face, include it here.)
I believe the above three requests will benefit all New Mexico’s public schools, educators, and community well-being far beyond the costs to enact them.
I sincerely thank you for considering my requests.