The NEA Honors Governor Bill Richardson
The National Education Association (NEA) presented the “America’s Greatest Education Governor Award” to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel presented the award before 10,000 educators attending the union’s Representative Assembly saying, “Gov. Richardson speaks up on the issues that affect children, and he follows up the talk with action. Realizing the impact early childhood education has on long-term success, he extended kindergarten programs to full-day classes. Despite criticism, he advocated for and passed a law to provide free pre-K for 4-year olds.”
In accepting the award Gov. Richardson said, “Since day one I’ve made education the top priority of my administration. From increasing teacher pay to ensuring that we recruit and retain the best and brightest, to better preparing our kids by implementing a statewide pre-K program, I’m proud of the reforms we have made.”
The state ranked 46th in the nation in teacher salaries when Gov. Richardson took office. Now the state ranks 36th. He also restored collective bargaining rights for educators.
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