Posted at: 01/21/2014 2:42 PM
Updated at: 01/21/2014 6:55 PM
The 2014 legislative session is now underway. Governor Susana Martinez jump-kicked the session to start things off with her fourth State of the State address, one that contained few if any surprises.
She still wants to ban those driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and she still wants to hold back third-graders who can't read adequately. They call it retention.
"Every New Mexico third-grader who can't read and gets passed along anyway is four times more likely to drop out. That's not an opinion - it's fact," Martinez said.
The governor does want to increase school spending by one hundred million dollars, almost ten million on updated textbooks.
"But money along isn't the answer. We should expect a return on our education dollars and that return should be student achievement - our kids reading at a higher level - our students graduating at a higher rate," Martinez said.
Under Martinez last year, the state's high school graduation rate jumped from 63 to 70 percent but she says we must do better.
The governor wants to raise pay for starting teachers by ten percent, from $30,000 a year to $33,000. A lot of Democrats say all school employees need a pay raise of about one and-a-half percent.