capitol reports

Capitol Report – January 24, 2022

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Research suggests that addressing teacher vacancies continues to be a challenge across the state. This legislative session legislators are discussing proposals to help build a stronger teacher pipeline.

Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse.

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According to a recent report by New Mexico State University, the number of teacher vacancies in New Mexico has nearly doubled in the last year. To help address this issue a legislative committee signed off on increased funding to broaden the pipeline of teachers entering New Mexico classrooms through Teacher Residency Programs.

The House Education Committee unanimously voted to pass House Bill 13, which makes changes to the Teacher Residency Act. While the Teacher Residency Act was initially passed in the 2020 legislative session, this proposal expands eligibility for Teacher Residency Programs. Currently, only two educator preparation programs offer Residency Programs, one at the University of New Mexico and one at New Mexico State University.

The current residency programs restricts eligibility to adults who already have a bachelor’s degree and are pursuing a teaching license through an alternative program. The proposed changes would change the Teacher Residency Act to expand eligibility to undergraduate students in their final year of an educator preparation program. The proposal also includes an increase in the stipend awarded to each participant from $20,000 to $35,000.

Ellen Bernstein, President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, who supported the legislation noted research on the impacts of teacher residency models show on average, that residents are more diverse, they’re more likely to stay in teaching, they serve in high needs districts and are typically more effective than other beginning teachers.

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza

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