NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Following the launch of a statewide initiative encouraging state workers and National Guard members to volunteer to become licensed pre-k teachers to support schools facing staffing shortages, the governor announced she too will take part in the effort. A spokesperson from the governor’s office confirmed Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has completed the registration to become a substitute teacher.

The governor made the announcement Saturday on CNN’s “Newsroom”. The Public Education Department confirmed to KRQE News 13 that as of 3 p.m. Friday, the department received 77 substitute applications and 55 of them have been licensed.

The PED reported the licensed National Guard members were being dispatched to schools across the state Monday morning including those in the following locations:

  • Farmington
  • Bloomfield
  • Aztec
  • Clovis
  • Portales
  • Las Vegas
  • Questa
  • Raton
  • Springer
  • Hondo
  • Silver City
  • Cobre
  • Deming
  • Alamogordo
  • Loving
  • Haberman
  • Artesia
  • Hobbs
  • Los Lunas
  • Moriarty
  • Estancia

The Supporting Teachers and Families Initiative was announced last week in an effort to support schools and childcare facilities that are facing extreme staffing shortages due to the pandemic. Schools are being forced to make the switch to online learning while childcare facilities must temporarily close when staff members test positive for COVID-19 or identified as close contacts and must isolate, quarantine.

The Office of the Governor previously stated that since winter break, about 60 school districts and charter schools have made the switch to remote learning. Since the beginning of the year, 75 childcare centers have been forced to partially or fully close due to staffing shortages.