More Roundhouse News

Re-Cap for Wednesday Bills

HB 340: Education Strategic Planning Task Force – Reps. Small & Garcia Richard
This bill would create a education strategic planning task force which would be responsible for creating a 20-year visionary plan for education in New Mexico, from early education through higher education. AFT NM supports this legislation, as it requires the task force to be comprised of stakeholders and practitioners in public education. This bill passed in House Education Committee this morning.

HB 108/a: Transfer of College Credits – Rep. Garcia Richard
This bill directs the Higher Education Department to develop core curriculum, which will form the basis for a liberal arts degree. It also mandates that courses within this set of guidelines shall be transferrable between institutions. AFT NM supported this legislation once amendments were made to better protect concerns related to academic freedom for educators at institutions of higher education in New Mexico. Higher Education Secretary, Barbara Damron, worked extremely hard to address the concerns of faculty members prior to the bill’s passage, and we would like to thank her for her commitment to academic freedom for our educators.

c/SB 134: Computer Science for School Graduation – Rep. Sariñana/Sen. Candelaria
This bill amends high school graduation and New Mexico diploma of excellence requirements to allow the substitution of one unit of computer science for one year of either mathematics or science. AFT NM supports this legislation as it better prepares students for entering technical career fields or areas of study in higher education. c/SB 124 passed the House Education Committee this morning.

SB 32: K-3 Plus Eligibility – Sen. Kernan

This bill would expand eligibility to allow non-K-3 Plus schools which feed into existing or eligible K-3 Plus schools to apply for the K-3 Plus program. AFT NM supports this legislation as it increases the potential number of students who will be able to take part in this important program.


Preview of Upcoming Bills (New Bills)

SB 403: Student Literacy & Interventions – Sen. Kernan

This bill was originally drafted to be similar to Governor Martinez’s 3rd grade flunking bill, however Sen. Kernan later withdrew that original bill and made significant changes to it. Currently, this bill is drafted to focus on interventions for struggling readers in early grade levels. AFT NM has not developed a position on this bill, as we have not evaluated the final draft. We will keep you informed on SB 403 as it becomes publically available.

SB 470: School Assessments & Teacher Evaluations – Sen. Sapien
This bill would allow districts and charter schools to use short-cycle assessments instead of end-of-course exams to measure student mastery of a given subject area. Additionally, this bill would alter certain aspects of educators’ evaluations. AFT NM opposes this legislation because it while it provides for flexibility on testing, the evaluation language is too vague, and could allow for the continued use of value-added modeling as part of an educator’s evaluation.

HB 344: Lottery Scholarship Full & Need-Based – Rep. Sariñana/Roybal Caballero/Ch. Trujillo
This bill would alter the requirements to receive the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship and would also set award amounts for recipients. The bill’s aim is to extend the solvency of the lottery fund, while maximizing the number of students attending higher education institutions, and increasing awards based on performance. AFT NM supports this legislation as a way to extend the life of the Lottery Scholarship and provide a pathway for more students to attend institutions of higher education.

2nd/3rd Hearing of Bills

HB 265: Educational Assistant Probation Period – SUPPORT 
SB 38: Brain Injury Training for Student Athletes – SUPPORT 
c/HB 163: School Grade Test Scores & Unexcused Absences – SUPPORT 
SB 34: Teacher & Principal Evaluation System – SUPPORT 
c/SB 313: Charter School Facilities & Leases – SUPPORT 
SB 381: Alternative School Transportation – SUPPORT 
HB 130/a: School Program Units for School Employers – SUPPORT 
SB 200: Certified School Employee Program Units – SUPPORT 
HB 354: Expand School Aged Person Definition – SUPPORT 
HB 301/a: Support for Transferring Students – SUPPORT 

Bills Passing Full House/Senate:

HB 47: Extend School Bus Replacement Cycle – OPPOSE 
HB 75: Limit School Use of Restraint & Seclusion – SUPPORT 
HB 191: Oil & Gas School Tax to Stabilization Reserve – OPPOSE 
SB 241: School Visual Arts & Physical Ed Standards – SUPPORT

Other Bills We Are Watching (“Rolled” Bills)

HB 114: Reading Improvement Plans & Intervention – OPPOSE
SJR 11: Elected & Appointed Board of Education, CA – OPPOSE 
SJR 14: School Fund for Longer School Days & Year – SUPPORT 
HB 298: School District Reorganization Act – OPPOSE 
HB 108/a: Transfer of College Credits – OPPOSE 
SB 344: Income Tax Rates & Pre-K Funding – SUPPORT 
c/SB 323: Early Kindergarten Enrollment – SUPPORT
fl/SB 62: School Rating Grade Point System – SUPPORT 
HB 125/a: Teacher & Principal Evaluation System – SUPPORT


Please watch for future e-mails updating you about important bills and issues facing our State, and in the meantime, follow AFT NM on Facebook and Twitter.


In Solidarity,

Stephanie Ly

President, AFT NM

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