Governor Bill Richardson signed the formal application today for New Mexico's
share of the $10 billion recently appropriated by Congress to save teaching jobs across the nation.
New Mexico is expected to receive about $65 million from the Education Jobs Fund, which will help school districts avoid teacher lay-offs due to the slow economic recovery.
"This money comes at a crucial time as schools open their doors for the new school year," Governor Richardson said. "I have assured federal officials that the money will be invested in teachers and classroom spending, not administration and bureaucracy."
Governors have until Sept. 9 to submit a formal application for funding to the U.S. Department of Education. Governor Richardson submitted New Mexico's application today. If approved, money should be available within two weeks.
In the application, Governor Richardson informed federal officials that New Mexico will funnel the money to school districts through the state funding formula.
Shortly after Congress passed legislation last week creating the Education Jobs Fund, Governor Richardson spared New Mexico schools from budget cuts that would have taken effect Sept. 1. The $65 million in federal money will offset most of the budget cuts and prevent teacher layoffs.