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Money is available for aspiring teachers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s more than $10 million on the table for teachers-to-be.

The state Higher Education Department announced that scholarship funds will be available to colleges and universities, starting this fall semester.

According to a news release, an applicant could get up to $3,000 a semester for tuition, fees and books.

The announcement follows Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signing House Bill 275, or the “Teacher Preparation Affordability Act,” which put the money aside for aspiring teachers, according to the Higher Education Department.

There’s also legislative dollars for education assistants looking to become teachers through the “Grow Your Own Teachers Act.”

You can learn more about both opportunities at the Higher Education Department’s website under the scholarships tab, www.hed.state.nm.us.

UPDATES TO FIRE DRILLS: Safety drills are getting an update.

With the passage of Senate Bill 147 that outlined changes to schools’ drills, Albuquerque Public Schools revisited its policy to reflect the updates.

This school year there are fewer drills overall, according to Chief Steve Gallegos, executive director of APS police.

An emergency drill will take place once a week for the first four weeks of school. Of these, one will be a shelter in place that includes how to react to an active shooter, an off-site evacuation drill and two fire drills.

And there will be four emergency drills the rest of the year. Two will be fire drills and the other two will be up to the schools.

“Basically what happened is drills have been reduced from 12 to eight overall. Fire drills are reduced from nine to four but added are the active-shooter drill and the evacuation drill off site,” Gallegos said.

Spokeswoman Johanna King said the district first started implementing active-shooter drills last year, through ALICE – “alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate” – training.

NEEDS ASSESSMENT: A statewide needs assessment on early childhood learning infrastructure in the state is moving forward. The New Mexico Early Childhood Development Partnership – the policy arm of United Way of Santa Fe County – is teaming up with Early Learning New Mexico, a combined effort of the state’s Children, Youth and Families, Department of Health and Public Education Department, to do the assessment. The idea is to gauge early learning needs and access to child care statewide and then to create a strategy plan as a result. According to the Legislative Education Study Committee, that plan will guide the newly created Early Childhood Education and Care Department’s efforts.

Shelby Perea: sperea@abqjournal.com

 

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