SANTA FE, N.M. – During Friday’s Senate Education Committee meeting, New Mexico legislators voted to advance Senate Joint Resolution 9, laying the groundwork for a floor discussion regarding a constitutional amendment to establish a state board of education. While this resolution would bring a major change to New Mexico’s public education system, NewMexicoKidsCAN opposes this resolution.

Recognizing that a governance restructure is a significant decision, NewMexicoKidsCAN advocates for a thorough review of its potential impact. It is unclear how this change will affect the Public Education Commission (PEC) and New Mexico’s public charter schools, many of which are authorized by the PEC.

In September 2003, New Mexicans voted in favor of a ballot measure allowing the Governor to appoint a State Secretary of Education. This decision eliminated the position of the State Schools Superintendent and the 15-member elected State Board of Education. Senate Joint Resolution 9 would send a new measure to the ballot box to return to the state’s previous form of education governance.

“Now is not the time to turn back to what didn’t work. Solutions for today will not be found in the failed answers of the past,”  said Amanda Aragon, Executive Director of NewMexicoKidsCAN. “There are 49 states that rank above New Mexico in education, each with a different governance structure. Our focus should not be on adding more politics to education, but rather on improving classroom instruction and education outcomes for New Mexico students.”

Senate Joint Resolution 9 was passed by the Senate Rules committee with no debate on Wednesday, January 24th before passing the Senate Education committee today. It will now move to the Senate Floor for a vote.

The recorded webcast of today’s discussion can be found here, and begins at 9:44:41.


About NewMexicoKidsCAN: Launched in 2018, NewMexicoKidsCAN is a local non-profit organization that advocates for community-informed, student-centered and research-backed education policies. Connecting policy, instructional practice and politics the organization works to reimagine what is possible in New Mexico’s public education system to ensure New Mexico students become the future community, civic and business leaders New Mexico needs.

Dominica Chavez is the Advocacy Manager at NewMexicoKidsCAN. A native of New Mexico, she left home to pursue higher education and recently returned with the goal of building a better New Mexico.


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