Despite teacher pay hike, vacancy rates rising: Report

Teacher vacancies in New Mexico are increasing, reaching 751 unfilled positions this year compared to 690 in 2022, as highlighted in an annual report by New Mexico State University’s Southwest Outreach Academic Research Evaluation and Policy Center. This represents a nine percent rise from the previous year but is notably lower than the 2021 report, which documented over 1,000 empty teacher positions in the state, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

This comes despite the state Legislature unanimously passing a bill giving all school employees a seven percent raise and boosting minimum salaries for public school teachers.

Despite substantial legislative investments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, retaining teachers remains a challenge, as discussed in a recent meeting of the Legislative Finance Committee. Education officials plan to request continued or increased funding for teacher preparation programs, emphasizing the importance of equipping teachers with the necessary skills.

Mary Parr-Sánchez, president of the New Mexico branch of the National Education Association, a far-left teachers union, claimed there needs to be a multifaceted solution involving policy changes and higher wages to address the challenges faced by educators. She said that professionals in the classroom still feel the strain, akin to the challenges during and after the pandemic.

The 2023 report indicates noticeable teacher vacancies, particularly in elementary and special education, as well as math and science classes. Additionally, the state is lacking 482 educational assistants, despite a recent law increasing minimum educational assistant salaries to $25,000.

While the report outlines various needs, including counselors, paraprofessionals, speech-language pathologists, and behavior support providers, it also notes a positive trend. More aspiring teachers are completing preparation programs, with 1,158 graduates in 2023, marking an increase of 131 over 2022.

New Mexico’s education system ranks 51st behind all other states and the District of Columbia.


21 thoughts on “Despite teacher pay hike, vacancy rates rising: Report”

  1. I left teaching at APS before the start of this year after nearly 23 yrs of teaching–here in NM and in FL. Basically, I was `forced’ out because I refused to collaborate with the use of student “pronouns” and the Department of Equity, which was starting to require teachers incorporate, what I call , `gender confusion’ into our curriculum. Finally, when we came back to school in January 2023, we were told by the Dept of Equity to not tell parents that their child was considering changing their sexual identity. And that what did it for me. I had enough and left teaching and went back to working as a chemist.

    1. Doug, your comments are what I had suspected and find it so sad for the state of NM so swing so hard left. Thanks for your input.

    2. I suspect more teachers are quitting in states that ban books and ban discussing race or gender – all should be part of education. It works both ways.

    3. I agree 100% with you. I too left my district after 35 years. I saw the “social emotional learning” curriculum for what it is, encouraging or thrusting mental illness on our youth.

  2. I would bet the reason for a lot of the vacancies is because a real teacher has morals, integrity and honesty and they don’t want to be a part of the obscenity of communist indoctrination taking place in our public schools!

    1. You said that real teachers have morals, integrity and honesty; which unfortunately their students have not been taught at home. Teachers are expected to teach what their students should have already learned from their parents.
      Parents are not necessarily doing their job in raising their children.
      Single mothers, two household incomes, electronics, drugs and alcohol are all taking their toll on the children in todays world. Then teachers are expected to fill in the gaps and teach the children the basics in life that they should already have been taught.
      It’s the parents and the students home life that is failing,

      1. I agree with you that it starts at home, however these teachers are now indoctrinating the students in leftist ideologies. I no longer respect the teaching profession. Its too bad when I was young many teachers had a positive effect on my life.

  3. 1,5 million dollars was spent for “SENSORY ROOMS” in the los lunas school district–bubble rooms, aromatherapy, a tunnel to lie in, and see a starry sky, and toys and games for students and staff to play with to de-stress–your tax dollars at work–You couldn’t pay me enough to teach school–CRT, WOKE, pronouns, kids who have never had any responsibility or accountability in their lives–

  4. Nothing has changed because they are working teachers to death and piling on more and more work. Besides long hours, having to use their own money for necessities, and some students getting a slap on the wrist for moderate offenses.

  5. I would like to know how many teachers total is currently out on the workforce and compare it to the number of vacancies.

  6. Go woke and go broke but in this case our kids will be broke because of our poor educational system, and every other measurable public service in the US.

  7. I didn’t know they were teaching pronouns in that way. Gender confusion is not and should not be taught in school. If a family has a child with gender confusion. That is a family issue. Only facts should be taught in school. Bringing mental health issues into it just makes it confusing to kids. I have been thinking about becoming a teacher. I am not so sure if I want to now. I have nothing against Trans people. There are just some topics that don’t belong in a classroom.

  8. It seems like the newer, younger teachers think of teaching as an opportunity for indoctrinating their students.

    I had a few good teachers…and several bad teachers. The bad ones wanted to (and did) slant their teaching to match their warped view of life. The weird teachers now were probably mistreated by bad teachers. Why else could they think their behavior is acceptable?

    Money isn’t the only way to attract good teachers. There is culture and ease of getting *good* classroom supplies. How about someone to help them grade the dozens of workbooks? Not all of them have college-age kids who want to help out. I always helped my mom with them and quizzes when I was home from college. How she managed 30+ workbooks alone, I will never know!

    How about paying for classroom supplies? Teachers should NOT have to pay for classroom supplies like cleaning wipes, tissues, etc. If we have money to throw at schools, we have money to help teachers.

    Another HOWEVER is to get rid of the rotten teacher’s union. Why let that whack-job Randi Weingarten tell teachers what to do? I’m sure teachers would rather have the money than pay union dues for help they are not getting.

    The above garbage is why I am not a teacher. The abuse they suffer from those poorly-taught-at-home students and idiot administrators is enough to get you to change your major. Which I did.

  9. What I saw working as a custodian here in Roswell made me wonder why anyone would want to teach. There is no discipline of any kind and more and more students are totally disrespectful. And with the bad bills the legislature passed and governor signed removing parental rights? Why would anyone put themselves in harms way? Not to mention the absolute radical indoctrination going on. If you are reading this and haven’t signed the Referendum petitions you need to b do so.

  10. To the person who said they are banning books in other states; you failed to mention the kinds of books. Many of these books are sexually explicit graphic books that adults would be embarrassed to read. So, enough of this banning books at least these types of books. So teachers got a 10 k raise and a 7% raise and other benefits. How much did the insurance go up. Don’t forget tge bills that were passed in the legislature that encourages teachers to lead kids confused about their gender , pregnant, or with emotional problems to direct them to a health care facility without parental consent or knowledge! Teachers can be fined if they tell the child; maybe you should talk to your parents. Enough of this! Our state is in a dark hole. Wake up!

  11. Who wants to teach where the left and students control the classroom. Teachers are disrespected and harassed by students and leftists destroying the system. The answer to a real education, home school. There has to be discipline somewhere since schools don’t allow it and real education. Second stop wasting money on bilingual education. Teach English and move on.

  12. My school is a disaster of district-level incompetence wrapped in attempts to micro-manage (badly). Constant “initiatives” to grab federal and state dollars lead to the same “training” in things we all do, all the while the district admin grows, with more incompetents trying to excuse their paycheck by “helping” the teachers. The diversity crew is actually the least annoying; you can ignore them and continue teaching properly. The observation/ratings system for the teachers is noting but pencil-whipping and simply takes time from the job of teaching.

    We’re understaffed, the classes are too big, and by the time they get to the high school, the damage of the elementary and middle schools not actually teaching reading, writing, and basic arithmetics means there’s not a thing you can do to bring them up.

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