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Low salaries in New Mexico keeping teachers away


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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state legislative report says New Mexico is having trouble retaining teachers and recommends additional pay for certain teaching positions.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1K3Yvcx ) that the Legislative Finance Committee found that only about half of the 871 new teachers who entered the state's public school system in 2008 were still teaching five years later.

The report recommends a statewide stipend of $5,000 to $15,000 in additional annual pay for certain teachers in high poverty schools. It also suggests more funding for a teacher loan repayment program.

LFC Chairman Sen. John Arthur Smith says lawmakers could reduce teachers' retirement benefits to offset salary increases.

Starting teacher pay in New Mexico will be set at a minimum of $34,000 for the school year beginning this fall, a legislature-improved increase from $32,000.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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