New Mexico schools are facing an unprecedented staffing shortage, prompting scores of state employees and National Guard troops to step in as substitutes and school aides—including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham herself. “States and governments have had to turn on a dime during the pandemic to stand up systems, to provide support to any of our critical, crucial, basic services,” she told CNN. “There aren’t any other options.” Grisham had called for state employees to begin subbing on Wednesday, and she told the network she expected to be placed in an elementary school next week. “I’m feeling very good about this effort, and the goal is to keep schools open and to support educators, parents, and students through the worst of Omicron,” she said. About 50 state employees and 50 National Guard members will be deployed initially, and all are subject to a background check and two-hour training, she said.
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