NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Dozens of National Guard members and state employees have signed up to work as substitute teachers as part of the governor’s classroom staffing initiative. As of Friday afternoon, 164 people have applied for the program — 89 National Guard members and 75 state workers. About three-quarters of them have been issued licenses so far.

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The substitutes have already been assigned to dozens of schools districts across the state. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the program last week, to address the dire shortage of substitute teachers.