SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – The president of the state teachers union says the teacher shortage in New Mexico is at crisis levels. “There is a long tradition of low wages. Right now, educators in New Mexico make less than surrounding states,” said Whitney Holland, president of the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico. “I think there’s a workload issue, I think there’s a disrespect issue. You name it, it was the perfect storm — then add COVID.”
Holland says they see about 1,700 vacancies in schools, including teachers, bus drivers and educational assistants. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham this week announced a new program that encourages state employees and members of the National Guard to volunteer as licensed substitute teachers or child care workers.