SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Public Education Department is asking the state for nearly $4 billion to address problems in the department. NMPED broke down its budget to highlight certain areas it wanted to address in the coming year. It includes $50 million for flexible pay increases for teachers, also $10.6 million towards their health insurance as well as $1.4 million for license exam fees to bring in new teachers.

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As part of a judge ruling on the 2018 Martinez-Yazzie lawsuit, the department also wants to use $10.2 million for Native American student education. Other items in the budget include $27 million for elementary physical education programs; $50 million for student mental health; $30 million for alternative learning programs and $11.5 million for advancing literacy programs across the state.