Stand With New Mexico Educators for Safe School & Higher Education Re-Opening

The COVID-19 pandemic has been like nothing we have ever experienced, however, from the beginning of the school and higher education closures in March, dedicated public educators have been going above and beyond in service to our students, our communities, and our families.

Schools aren’t just where students take tests and get homework, they’re where they interact, learn life lessons, and develop the social and emotional skills that take them into adulthood. 

They’re also where millions of kids get meals, after-school care, and other important support – all provided by the dedicated educators who share our communities.

New Mexico educators did their best during this Spring’s remote learning, truly “building the plane while flying it,” but still, our students experienced a huge loss of learning, and New Mexico’s lack of digital infrastructure exposed our existing inequities in education.

New Mexico educators want to reopen to at least a hybrid model. Most have been impacted by the coronavirus personally, and they teachers can tell you stories of how their students have been affected.

We strongly endorse reopening if basic safety ‘must haves’ are met:

o   Physical distancing of 6 feet,

o   Increased Hand washing,

o   Face coverings and PPE,

o   Improved Ventilation,

o   Ongoing Labor/Management collaboration.

All this cannot be done on the cheap – these are the investments we mean when we talk about spending more money on education and in our communities, and less money on policing and militarization. This is the stuff that will actually be make or break for our kids.

o   Our national analysis costs out an additional $116.5 billion for instructional staff, distance learning, before- and after-school care, transportation, personal protective equipment, cleaning and health supplies, health staffing, custodial and cleaning staff, meeting children’s social and emotional needs and additional academic support for students.

o   The average school will need to see an extra $1.2 million, or $2,300 per student, to open its doors.

o   This is separate and apart from the $175 billion that all school districts need to retain their educators at a time when state and local revenues are cratering.  

o   We need federal money for this QUICKLY so that high-need districts can do their infrastructure improvements now, if we have any chance of safely reopening in the fall. 

Add your name TODAY (BY CLICKING HERE) to show you stand with New Mexico’s public educators and call on New Mexico’s school districts and higher education institutions to prioritize student and educator safety as mandatory before we re-enter the academic year. 


By signing this petition, you are allowing AFT New Mexico to contact you regarding this or future public education campaigns.

Additional Resources for Educators During the On-Going COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear AFT NM Members:

It seems much longer than a week since we learned Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her decision to suspend the remainder of the academic year and move to a remote learning format.

Through this unprecedented period, we have been in constant contact with the Governor’s staff, NM PED, NM HED, and other appropriate agencies to ensure you are being supported as you continue to deliver educational services to our students, their families, and our communities.

NM School Closure: Information and Resources for Educators

NM School Closure: Information and Resources for Educators

Dear AFT NM Members:

A lot has changed in our respective worlds in the 24-hours since we last reached out and sent a grouping of resources to you. These resources were developed by AFT, the NM PED, and other state agencies in order to inform you to the best of our collective ability the very rapidly changing landscape impacting New Mexico and our public schools.

AFT New Mexico Responds to Statewide School Closures

American Federation of Teachers New Mexico 
Respond to Statewide School Closures

Governor and Public Education Department Issue Temporary School Closure Order


March 13, 2020   

Contact: John Dyrcz


Albuquerque – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement:

“Today’s announcement of temporary statewide school closures from March 16 through April 6 is a prudent decision for the health and welfare of our students, families, and education professionals across New Mexico. Worldwide data shows that proactive decisions such as mass closures help to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Governor Lujan Grisham and the leadership of the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) will be issuing additional information as it becomes available, however, preparation is already underway to waive the instructional hours requirements so that days will not need to be made up, although voluntary online or distance learning programing is encouraged if available. The Governor and the PED are also working to ensure school-based health clinics, access to meal sites, childcare, and other essential functions remain open and available to students.

“Other states across the country are making similar decisions, and the Governor and her administration has stated they will exercise every power within their authority to ensure that the safety of our students and communities is the priority during this temporary closure of schools.

“We want to thank Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary Ryan Stewart, Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel, and Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley for their quick and diligent action on behalf of New Mexicans. It puts New Mexicans as ease when we have an administration working so closely together in creating a well thought out and executed plan of action. There is no cause to panic; however, we believe erring on the side of caution and safety is the correct choice during the COVID-19 pandemic."