NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico colleges are getting money from the state to recruit Indigenous and bilingual early education teachers. Millions have been allocated for this initiative.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) is awarding $7 million in grants to seven colleges in the state.

The goal is to recruit people from Indigenous and bilingual communities, train them, and have them return to those communities as teachers who already have the cultural knowledge of those areas.

“New Mexico’s multicultural heritage is one of the things that makes our state special,” said ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky, “That’s why it’s especially important to ensure that our early childhood workforce reflects the diverse communities they will be serving – especially in Tribal communities where culture and language are key components of early education and development. These new early childhood endowments are part of our strategy to attract a diverse pool of talent to the early childhood profession and support them in their pursuit of degrees and credentials.” 

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CNM, UNM, NMSU, and Western New Mexico University all received a little more than $1.1 million as part of the program.