A new law ensures that all New Mexico teachers with Native-language certification will be paid on par with other educators. Previously, their pay was decided on a district-by-district basis, with some full-time teachers making less than $20,000 a year. The new law was enacted as part of a Tribal Remedy Framework endorsed by all 23 of New Mexico's tribal nations that seeks to transform education for Native American children in the state.
New Mexico’s child protective services department is set to receive a funding boost officials say will be used to improve services for foster youth, including creating more specialized placements for some of the state’s most vulnerable kids. During the 2022 New Mexico Legislature, state lawmakers approved a 9.4% funding increase for the Children, Youth and Families Department. CYFD, which asked for nearly $255 million for its general fund ahead of the legislative session, will receive approximately $230 million for its 2023 general fund operating budget.
New Mexico’s Native family court was inaugurated in January, 2020, with the intention of helping prevent the separation of Indigenous children from their families and tribes. The court, based in Albuquerque, is dedicated to hearing child welfare cases that fall under the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA.
Child welfare professionals in New Mexico are applauding passage of a bill they say will improve legal representation for youth and families impacted by foster care. Advocates say that the creation of an independent Office of Family Representation and Advocacy will help families connect to higher quality — and better paid — legal aid.
The New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD), which oversees child protective services, asked the state Legislature for a $41.5 million increase to its budget for 2023. CYFD requested $254,948,200 for its general fund, which makes up about 70 percent of its overall budget. It was given $213,423,200 for 2022.