Charles Goodmacher of the NEA is one of many (often self-interested) advocates for paying New Mexico teachers more. Heck, during the 2018 Legislature, Republicans were complaining that the unions and some Democrats were not interested in certain pay raises for teachers.
But are New Mexico teachers really paid poorly? Not at all. In fact, a group advocating for higher teacher pay in Arizona (where teacher pay is indeed low) put together the handy graphic below. The data are adjusted for cost of living which is important because New Mexico is a low-cost state. However, when adjusted for living costs, New Mexico’s elementary school teachers are better-paid than the US average and better-paid than a majority of states.
And, while secondary school teachers in New Mexico are paid less well than are elementary school teachers (in real terms which is odd) but those teachers are nonetheless better paid than are secondary teachers in neighboring states: