New Mexico governor becomes substitute teacher amid school staffing shortage
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has registered to become licensed as a substitute teacher as part of a push to address COVID-19-related staffing shortages at schools and child care centers.
The governor does not have prior experience in education but expects to be placed as a substitute in an elementary school next week, according to CNN.
“There aren’t any other options,” the governor said, asking for the public’s help to register more substitute teachers, CNN reported.
“This work will not require the Lt. Gov. to act as governor,” Grisham’s press secretary Nora Sackett also told the outlet.
The governor is one of 100 people, including 50 National Guard members and 50 state employees, to sign up for the “Supporting Teachers and Families” initiative announced last week, CNN noted.
Grisham announced the initiative to encourage state workers and members of the National Guard to assist at schools struck by COVID-19 outbreaks preventing teachers from coming in to work.
At the time, she said the decision was the result of “extreme staffing shortages due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.”
On Friday, New Mexico’s health department reported 6,198 new COVID-19 cases and a seven-day positivity rate of 29 percent as the state as seen a surge in infections fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.
The Hill has reached out to Grisham’s office for comment.
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