In Brief - New Mexico News - Jan. 25, 2013

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The Associated Press

State grad rate was 67.3 percent

The federal government reports that New Mexico’s graduation rate for the 2009-2010 was 67.3 percent. That’s below the national average of 78.2 percent.
The so-called “average freshman graduation rates” indicate the percentage of 9th graders who go on to graduate within four years.
The rates are being reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education.
States’ rates ranged from 57.8 percent in Nevada at the low end to 91.4 percent in Vermont at the high end.

Math, science teachers sought

Gov. Susana Martinez has announced a $2 million initiative to hire math and sciences teachers in low income and rural schools in New Mexico.
Martinez outlined her plan at a news conference Tuesday in Albuquerque.
She says the effort will include multiple components to increase the hiring of math and science teachers in hard-to-staff areas throughout the state.
That will include a loan forgiveness program and pay incentives for teachers who move to certain schools.
The governor also proposes up to a $5,000 pay bonus for the best 125 highly effective math and science teachers who move to underserved schools.

Medicaid funds withheld

New Mexico is withholding some Medicaid payments to hospitals while the state tries to resolve a funding dispute with the federal government.
State Human Services Department spokesman Matt Kennicott says the quarterly payments suspended in December affect several categories of funding that add up to $250 million annually.
Those funding categories include hospitals that are the sole providers in their community and hospitals that treat more uninsured patients.
One of the affected hospitals is Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe.