June 22, 2009

JOINT RELEASE: CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $213 MILLION AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT, REFORM NEW MEXICO SCHOOLS


June 22, 2009

Additional $105 Million will be Available in Fall

WASHINGTON –New Mexico’s Congressional delegation today announced that $213 million is now available for state schools and education through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding will be dedicated to help save teaching jobs and support state and local efforts to reform and improve the public education system in the state.

New Mexico has already received $97 million in education stimulus funds — representing a combination of funding for Title I, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants, Independent Living Grants and Impact Aid.

“The economic recovery package was designed to stabilize the economy by both creating new jobs and preserving existing ones,” said Senator Jeff Bingaman.  “This funding will be used to fill in gaps in New Mexico’s education budget so that teacher layoffs will not be necessary and students are not forced into overcrowded classrooms.”
“New Mexico families know that during tough economic times, we must still invest in our children’s future,” said Senator Tom Udall. “This funding will help New Mexico create jobs today while continuing to build a more efficient workforce and better informed citizens for tomorrow.” 

“Our nation’s economic prosperity and long-term stability relies on the workforce of tomorrow,” said Congressman Martin Heinrich (NM-1). “We need to strengthen our education system to prepare our children for that challenge. This funding reforms and improves public education while holding administrators, teachers, parents, and students more accountable. New Mexico’s best teachers will stay in the classroom, and new jobs will be created to lead our nation in quality education for a stronger democracy.”

“This significant investment in our children’s education will allow us to protect jobs and make a long term investment in our education system,” said Congressman Harry Teague (NM-2). “As I have in the past, I’ll continue to reach out to the schools in southern New Mexico to ensure they have everything they need to get their fair share of this funding.”
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is already making a difference in communities throughout New Mexico,” said Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-3). “This investment in our schools will help keep teachers in the classroom and teach our students the skills they need to contribute to a strong New Mexico economy.”
In order to receive the $213 million, New Mexico provided assurances that it will collect, publish, analyze and act on basic information regarding efforts to ensure high-performing schools for all of New Mexico’s students.

New Mexico will also be required by the Department of Education to report the number of jobs saved through Recovery Act funding, the amount of state and local tax increases averted and how funds are used.

In February, the entire New Mexico Congressional Delegation supported the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.