Saturday, July 2, 2022

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The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

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SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

New Mexico Teachers Praise "Living Wage" Salary Increase

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Monday, March 7, 2022   

Teachers returning to classrooms in New Mexico this fall will see the first significant pay raise in several years.

As of July 1, all teachers in public schools, regardless of their tier level, will receive at least a $10,000 raise.

Whitney Holland, president of the American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico, was elected after teaching for nearly a decade. She has advocated for what she calls a "living wage" because she remembers how difficult it was to make ends meet when she began teaching in 2012.

"So when I started, I made $32,000, and that was hard," Holland recounted. "Now our beginning teachers will make $50,000, and that's pretty significant. It's competitive to the regions around us, and it's competitive to other professions."

The annual salary for "tier two" level teachers will now be $60,000 a year, while teachers at "tier three" will see salaries jump to $70,000. According to the governor's office, the raises make New Mexico the highest-paid education system in the region, higher than Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

In addition to pay increases, Holland pointed out newly passed legislation will lay the groundwork to rebuild the education profession in New Mexico, by investing in the educator workforce to retain veteran educators and attract new educators to the state.

"We believe wholeheartedly, having fully staffed schools is exactly what our students deserve," Holland asserted. "All of this legislation is steps toward doing that and rebuilding those schools and having them fully staffed."

According to Holland, the pandemic not only decimated teaching positions in the schools but also created almost 2,000 vacancies for positions such as bus drivers, custodians, secretaries and others who help run the schools. New Mexico was the only state to call on members of the National Guard, Army and Air Force troops, to substitute teach due to pandemic-related absences.

Disclosure: American Federation of Teachers contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

References:  
Senate Bill 1 03/01/2022

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