FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE
Thanks to a new law signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this year, New Mexico’s 48,000 retired K-12 and higher education teachers now have the ability to return to the classroom without losing their retirement benefits. .
Retired teachers and college professors who receive retirement benefits from the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board can now resume teaching for an additional three years at a New Mexico public school district, college, or university without losing their retirement benefits.
“It’s a win-win situation for teachers and students in New Mexico, as retired educators can now return to the classroom without losing their hard-earned retirement benefits,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. “I thank the dedicated professionals returning to the classroom.”
“This law is one of the many ways Governor Lujan Grisham supports teachers and ensures New Mexico students can benefit from caring and experienced educators in their classrooms,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “This law is a great initiative for teachers aspiring to return to the classroom and for public education as a whole in New Mexico.”
“Many retired teachers and professors are ready and willing to return to work, and with this program, we recognize them for their continued commitment to serving New Mexico students,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez said. “By making it easier for experienced educators to re-enter the classroom and not penalizing them for this decision, we will go a long way toward meeting the needs of our students and our schools today.”
Retired educators who wanted to return to the classroom were previously forced to suspend retirement or work part-time and earn less than $15,000. The new back-to-work program allows retirees to return to work with no limits on wages or hours of work. Applicants must observe a 90-day formatting period before becoming eligible for the program.
The administration of Lujan Grisham is exploring all available avenues to recruit new teachers. In addition to raising salaries to the highest in the region earlier this year, the state is now offering scholarships and tuition-free education options for educational assistants and other students in programs. teacher preparation, loan cancellation, alternative licensing, and support and mentoring for high school and young students interested in a career in teaching.
The Education Retirees Return to Work Act (Bill 73) was sponsored by Representatives Garratt, Figueroa and Lane, and was signed into law by Gov. Lujan Grisham in May.
“House Bill 73 is a great example of proactive legislation addressing New Mexico’s urgent need to provide our schools with quality educators. The result of strong bipartisan collaboration, this legislation, led by Rep. Garratt and supported by Administration Lujan Grisham, will ease restrictions on back-to-work policies for retired educators, while maintaining the financial security of our educational pension fund,” said President of AFT New Mexico Whitney Holland. “We already know this legislation is working, with many of our retired members actively pursuing a return to the classroom, which is a win for our students, our communities and our profession.”
“This law ultimately supports New Mexico students with the gift of an experienced educator and provides a new path for these educators to return to work without penalty until retirement. We thank Governor Lujan Grisham and Rep. Garratt for implementing strategies to support students and educators in New Mexico,” said the president of the National Education Association New Mexico. Mary Parr Sanchez.
“Bill 73 creates an immediate mechanism for recently retired teachers and professors to quickly return to work with a quality salary. These professionals are one of our best resources for filling educator positions, especially in high-need positions,” the bill’s sponsor said. Representative Joy Garratt. “I am delighted that our recently retired teachers who wish to return to the classroom can return without being absent for an extended period.”
To participate in the program, retirees must apply to the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board (NMERB) and be approved before beginning work. Applications can be obtained through the ERB website at nmerb.org/forms. NMERB offices are open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Staff are available to answer questions from members regarding their return-to-work options to help members and schools prepare for the school year. If you have questions about eligibility or an existing pension, please visit the office or contact NMERB at 866-691-2345 or [email protected]