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Union Leader: State Policies Punish Teachers

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The current teacher shortage across the nation is the worst since the 1990’s. The shortage could continue in New Mexico due to a drop in the number of students enrolled in teacher training programs.

There are 440 available teaching jobs in public schools across the state, according to a recent report by New Mexico State University.

Stephanie Ly said state policies focused on punishing teachers rather than supporting them, are pushing students from the teaching profession. She’s the President of the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico’s chapter. "They’re saying I don’t want to go into a profession where I’m told I can’t do what’s in the best interest of my students," Ly said.

The report cited a drop of 27.7 percent in students completing teacher training programs at 4-year universities. Another recent study by the Learning Policy Institute says this pattern is projected to continue, with demand for teachers heavily outweighing supply, especially in poverty-stricken states and the southwest.

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