In less than one week, New Mexico’s legislators will gather in Santa Fe for another 30 day legislative session. NewMexicoKidsCAN remains committed to advocating for our state’s students and families by bringing you the information you need to follow the conversation and by providing opportunities to engage in the political process.

We all have a part to play in ensuring that New Mexico’s education policies and programs are creating an excellent educational experience for our 330,000 students. Are you ready to use your voice to advocate for our students?

While this year’s session is a 30 day budget session, we know there will be no shortage of debate regarding education in the House and Senate chambers. We have prioritized the issues we believe are the most urgent and important and used them to form our 2020 agenda. I am excited to share our 2020 policy priorities with you today, all of which are grounded in our roadmap for the Future of Education in New Mexico.

Create systems that provide transparency into school level budgets. 

Our legislature made large-scale important investments in K-12 education last year by increasing education spending by nearly half a billion dollars. The problem is, we don’t know where the money went. As demonstrated by our Where Did The Money Go report, we do not know how targeted funds meant to serve our most vulnerable students were spent, nor can we track them to the school level. In order to support targeted investments to education the public deserves to know how districts are allocating funds to the school level. Thanks to Senator Jacob Candelaria, this work is already underway with introduced legislation and media attention.

Support the development of programs that increase diversity in the teaching workforce.

As shown in our State of Education report (pgs. 2 and 5), the diversity of our teaching workforce does not adequately reflect the diversity of our students, which research tells us can lead to improved academic results for all students. In order to ensure that our students have access to effective and diverse educators we will be working to better understand existing gaps with more reporting on this important topic and by working to create programs that address the development and retention of effective and diverse educators.

Ensure all New Mexico families continue to have quality school options.

Our schools and pathways should complement our students’ distinct identities by offering a multitude of options for rigorous, forward-thinking and diverse school models. NewMexicoKidsCAN will continue to advocate against any policies that adversely impact charter schools, including any moratorium or cap on charter schools, or charter school enrollment.

Provide families, educators and policymakers critical information about school, educator and student performance.

From new statewide assessments to new school accountability and teacher evaluation systems there is no shortage of important changes to keep our eye on. We will follow the development and implementation of new systems and continue to provide you with the analysis and information that helps our communities understand how our education systems are performing. We remain committed to advocating for systems that provide transparent and easy to understand information for New Mexico educators, students and families. 

Pilot programs to increase equitable access to advanced and AP courses.

Unfortunately some students are never identified for advanced coursework, despite indicators that they are capable of tackling the challenge. We will work with a few districts and/or charter schools to pilot systems and policies that identify all students who are ready for advanced coursework and automatically enroll them in those courses. If you know a school or district interested in piloting this work, please let me know!

Stay tuned here, on our blog, for more information on our policy priorities and remember, the easiest way to get the most up to date information about legislative session is via our social media sites. Be sure to follow along on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram!

We stand ready to advocate for New Mexico students and families this legislative session. I hope you’ll join us!

Amanda is the founding executive director of NewMexicoKidsCAN and an alumna of the 50CAN Education Advocacy Fellowship. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


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