NMPED 2023 Proposed Rule Change
PED Wants to Change the Rules - AGAIN
Rumors have been circulating since August that NMPED wants to make yet another change to the school year. They want to make this change based on short-term data since the most recent changes to the school year - and based on the faulty assumption that educators are still not doing enough.
Education in New Mexico has been under-funded for decades, and the recent investments the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) has passed has been very welcome. But now the LFC isn't acknowledging that this funding is filling a hole that has existed for years. The basic claim is that educators have to do more to earn the money that has already been invested.
The NMPED - with the support of LFC - is now calling for a rule change that would mandate a 180-day school year, voiding the current calendars that districts developed in response to the legislation that enacted a 1,140-hour school year. Here's what it looks like:
While it may not look like much would change for RRPS, since we're already above the minimum 180, there is the potential for all of our professional work time to be required to occur outside of the duty day.
Importantly, the rule change would remove local autonomy from districts, and would have extremely detrimental impacts on our colleagues in many rural districts. Many of these districts have 4-day school weeks, because that is what their communities need. This rule would essential strip this from rural districts, requiring a 5-day school week.
NMPED insists that this rule is an update to policy to uphold the 1,140-hour year, but that's not true. As you can see, this is a significant change to existing law, and should go through the legislative process rather than through rule. Changing existing law through rule-making is unacceptable.
The PED has called for public comment on their proposed rule change. A hearing is set for December 18th - when we're all diligently working to educate RRPS students. It is imperative that you take a moment to make your voice heard. Please send an email to PED telling them that educators do not want another year of changes and upheaval.
Send your email to: Rule.Feedback@ped.nm.gov
Identify the topic of your email as: 6.10.5 NMAC, School Calendar Requirements
You can find all of the proposed amendment below.
The big picture: Please don't despair. This is an opportunity to make your voice heard, and to unite around a state-wide common cause. There are many people in our state government who understand our needs, and advocate for us daily. It's important that we stay alert, and speak up at every opportunity.
In total solidarity, your president,