State Watch

New Mexico calls in National Guard to staff schools, child care centers

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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on Wednesday announced a “Supporting Teachers and Families” initiative to encourage state workers and members of the National Guard to assist at schools struck by COVID-19 outbreaks. 

In a press release on Wednesday, the governor said that “extreme staffing shortages due to a surge in COVID-19 cases” prompted the initiative.

Specifically, the program encourages state workers and National Guard members to volunteer to get licensed as substitute pre-K-12 teachers or as child care workers so they can be available to help with in-person learning and child care.

“Our schools are a critical source of stability for our kids – we know they learn better in the classroom and thrive among their peers,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement.

“Our kids, our teachers and our parents deserve as much stability as we can provide during this time of uncertainty, and the state stands ready to help keep kids in the classroom, parents able to go to work and teachers able to fully focus on the critical work they do every single day in educating the next generation,” she added.

The governor’s announcement noted that many schools in the state have been forced to move toward remote learning as staff members have either tested positive for the virus or been required to isolate due to exposure. 

COVID-19 cases in New Mexico have skyrocketed recently, with a 207 percent increase in cases in the past 14 days. As of Tuesday, the state reported a daily average of 5,557 cases, according to The New York Times

Tags COVID-19 Michelle Lujan Grisham New Mexico Staff shortages

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