ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One state senator wants to give high school varsity coaches a little extra cash. Senate Bill 490 looks to give every head varsity coach in a public school a $5,000 bonus.

“Well, in recent years, teachers have got raises, state workers, and I think coaches deserve a little pay increase as well,” said Senator Moe Maestas (D-Albuquerque), the sponsor of this bill, “A lot of good coaches in this state choose not to coach because the time is so consuming. They have obligations at home with their spouse or whatnot. So, we can show the coaches of New Mexico a little bit of love. Hopefully, we can get better coaches and get the good coaches to stay.”

Senator Maestas said as it stands, coaches who are also teachers typically get between $2,000 and $7,000 extra a year to coach. However, he said this amount doesn’t really cover the time they spend coaching. The bill would appropriate $3.3 million in recurring money from the general fund.

“High school sports matters here in New Mexico to a tremendous amount of folks: students, the parents, the schools; so, anything we can do to enhance the student-athlete experience is definitely in our interest,” Maestas said.

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Senator Maestas stated studies show students who play sports have better civic engagement and better social well-being.

The money in this bill is enough to give bonuses to 668 varsity high school head coaches from every sport across the state. It is being heard in the Senate Education Committee Friday.