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New Mexico Governor calls for increased higher education spending

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(The Center Square) – New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Higher Education Department are calling for increased spending on higher education initiatives in the state.

“The governor’s budget recommendation for higher education keeps our state at the head of the pack when it comes to college access and affordability and expands upon programs that have a strong track record of success,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez said in a statement. “With the remarkable strides New Mexico has made over the past several years, students and families can rest assured that their home state is the prime place to get an affordable, high-quality education and enter high-paying jobs.”

The governor proposed $157.9 million for the Opportunity Scholarship, an $11.9 million increase compared to this fiscal year.

During the 2022-23 academic year, over 42,000 New Mexico residents got the Opportunity Scholarship. Recipients were eight percentage points more likely to stay and school and graduate compared to the overall student population.

Under the plan, the Department’s Teacher Loan Repayment program would get $25 million, and the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program would get $19.7 million.

“Both programs have served more than 2,500 teachers and health care professionals since 2023,” the release said.

The governor also wants the state to spend $500,000 to create a statewide portal at the DEH that would receive incident reports about hazing on college campuses.

Additionally, the governor wants to spend $1.1 billion for operations and programs at New Mexico’s colleges and universities. That’s an increase of 3.5% over this year. She also wants $147,000 for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Higher education employees would get a 3% pay increase under her proposal.

Other budget recommendations include these, according to the release:

$15 million for endowed faculty positions at the UNM Health Sciences Center $10 million to expand nurse education programs $986,100 for the Graduate Scholarship Fund $5 million for graduate student salaries and benefits $500,000 for the Minority Doctoral Loan Repayment Program $2 million for the College Basic Needs Initiative $1.5 million for mental and behavioral health services on college campuses $4 million for the Dual Credit Program $500,000 for the Minority Doctoral Loan Repayment Program $3.25 million for RISE NM, New Mexico’s Longitudinal Data System $7 million for cybersecurity initiatives at state public colleges and universities $2.25 million for tribal education technical assistance centers $7 million for adult education programs $200,000 for High School Equivalency test vouchers $150,000 for adult education instructional materials $750,000 for adult literacy programs

More information about the governor’s higher education budget recommendations is available here.

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