October 29, 2009

Northern N.M. Network Schools Receive $2 Million for Programs

Funding will benefit Española and Taos

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján today announced that the Northern New Mexico Network received more than $2 million for implementation of a performance-based compensation program for rural school districts that face unique challenges.

Northern New Mexico Network for Rural Education will use the $2,047,098, made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Teacher Incentive Fund, to partner with Española and Taos Municipal School Districts.

“One of our main goals in public education is to have outstanding teachers in the classroom helping students meet rigorous academic standards. This grant will allow us to achieve that important goal,” Bingaman said.

“Schools in rural areas of New Mexico face special challenges to keep good teachers on staff and boost their classroom performance,” said Udall. “This funding will encourage good teaching practices by rewarding teachers who are working hard to educate our youth in Taos and Española.”

"I am pleased that the Northern New Mexico Network for Rural Education is receiving this much-needed award. The school districts in our rural communities face unique challenges and should be provided with the teaching resources they need. This funding will help our rural school districts provide the first-rate education our community's children deserve. Strong rural schools mean students who are better prepared to succeed in college and beyond--which means a brighter tomorrow for all of us,” Luján said.

The Teacher Incentive Program supports faculty initiatives to boost student academic achievement as well as classroom evaluations. It also provides educators with incentives to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles in their schools.