Landmark Education Bill Has First Hearing

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Landmark Education Bill Has First Hearing

The Senate Education Committee on Monday held its first hearing on Senate Majority Whip Mimi Stewart and Sen. Gay Kernan’s legislation, SB 1, which is a critical first step toward improving public education in New Mexico that invests $315 million in schools, educator salaries, at-risk students and extended education opportunities, including expansion of the successful K-3 Plus program.

“SB 1 is the culmination of the hard work of the Legislative Education Study Committee and the Legislative Finance Committee–along with input from educators, community members and policy experts,” Stewart said. “This landmark bill is the largest new investment in New Mexico’s public education in more than 15 years.”

Sen. Stewart and Sen. Kernan presented the bill to the committee Monday morning before receiving extensive public comment on the bill, which tackles many of the problems exposed by the Yazzie/Martinez v State of New Mexico lawsuit.

“From increasing educator salaries to making extended education opportunities available to more students, this bill goes a long way to addressing education inequities in New Mexico,” Stewart said. “However, SB 1 is one bill among many that we will be considering and supporting to move our schools, our students and our educators forward.”

Due to committee members’ interest in discussing the bill further, the committee will take up SB 1 again at an upcoming meeting. Schedule information can be found here.

“I am heartened by the honest, bipartisan conversation we had today,” Stewart said. “I look forward to more dialogue so that we can share ideas and information to ensure that SB 1 is as effective as possible.”