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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Praised for “First In the Nation” Effort to Keep Classrooms Open

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On Wednesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the Supporting Teachers and Families initiative, encouraging state workers and National Guard members to become licensed substitute teachers and child care workers to support schools and child care facilities facing COVID-related staffing shortages.

Here’s what people are saying about Gov. Lujan Grisham’s plan to keep doors open for in-person learning:

  • Associated Press: “New Mexico is the first state in the nation to ask National Guard troops to serve as substitute teachers as preschools and K-12 public schools struggle to keep classrooms open amid surging COVID-19 infections.”
  • The Guardian: “Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state’s Democratic governor, announced on Wednesday the unprecedented effort to reopen classrooms and shore up staffing across the state.”
  • Albuquerque Journal: “Standing outside Santa Fe High School, closed this week amid a staffing shortage, Lujan Grisham said she hoped the new initiative would establish a pool of 500 people who can be called on to support in-person learning.”
  • Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent: “Santa Fe Public Schools greatly appreciates the STAF initiative, as this will be instrumental in helping us return and continue in-person learning.”
  • Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus: “This is state government at its best, and we are ready to step up to support our teachers, who have been on the front lines of the pandemic for nearly two years now, by increasing the state’s pool of substitute teachers.”

“Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is taking unprecedented action to support New Mexico’s teachers, students, and families by keeping classrooms open,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “She knows that kids learn better in the classroom, and this initiative will give kids, educators, and working families the stability they need during this pandemic.”