The New Mexico House Education Committee has adopted a budget for fiscal 2011 that provides 0.5% more for public education than in fiscal 2010, but even that small an increase may require a tax hike for implementation.

The proposed budget allocates nearly $2.5 billion to public education in fiscal 2011, including state and federal ­funding.

Committee chairman Rick Miera, D-Albuquerque, said the recommendation assumes the Legislature will raise taxes during its current session. A revenue shortfall of approximately $600 million is anticipated in fiscal 2011 due to declines in current tax collections.

School districts in the state have received about $210 million in federal stimulus funds in fiscal 2010, but only $24 million remains to be distributed in fiscal 2011. The proposed education budget would increase state aid to education to help soften that loss.

The committee approved a $20.5 million appropriation to help schools cover increases in health insurance premiums, and rejected a legislative budget oversight panel’s recommendation for a 2% cut in teacher salaries.

The proposal from the Education Committee will be considered by the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.