Gov. Susana Martinez yesterday announced details of a $2 million plan to recruit more math and science teachers, with a focus on serving rural schools and those with high concentrations of low-income families.
The initiative has several components, including loan forgiveness and pay incentives for teachers, as well as a push to expand Advanced Placement offerings in STEM disciplines.
"Math and science are at the core of New Mexico's efforts to ensure that today's students can get a job in the market that will demand those skills when they graduate," the Republican governor said in a press release.
The announcement came a day after President Obama singled out the same issue of recruiting strong math and science teachers in his second inaugural address.
"No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores," Obama said in his address. "Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people."
The president did not specify what, if any, particular plans he has in mind, though Obama has touched on this issue before. A year ago, the president outlined several STEM education initiatives at the second White House Science Fair.
In New Mexico, Martinez outlined several components to her plan. More than $17,000 in federal loan forgiveness would be available to more than 2,000 eligible teachers (with funding coming from the federal government). The governor also wants to provide bonuses of up to $5,000 for "the best 125 highly effective math and science teachers who move to a hard-to-staff school," the release said.