School Board Members & Superintendents,
The 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session reached the halfway point yesterday and along with it came the deadline for bill introductions. In the end, 157 bills, memorials and resolutions were introduced which are directly related to public schools/education. Click here to access this listing. Our activity this week focused on the House and Senate Education Committees. The following is a listing of bills that were approved by these committees along with a few bills that passed the full House or Senate. See you next Thursday for our Day at the Capital and on Friday and Saturday for the 2019 NMSBA Board Institute!
Some highlights of bills passed and signed include:
This past week the Governor signed into law 42 of 48 of the "Rocket Docket" bills in the legislative package. Included in those 42 bills signed were three that we were following: HB 50, Audit Review by Board of Finance, HB 97, Local Government Investment Pool Participants, & SB 157, Sick leave for Educational Retirement credit. See details below.
Thursday and Friday the House worked late into the evening addressing the repeal of anti-abortion legislation and gun laws. These sessions provided for a lot of tension and procedural steps prior to voting.
Public Education continues to be in the forefront of the session. The big education bill SB 1, Public Education Changes has received a DO PASS in the Senate Education Committee, It has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. HB 5, Public Education Changes, the companion bill to SB 1, is currently in the House Education Changes. This bill would change the funding formula, limit charter school membership, addresses the K-3 plus program and provide increased salaries for teachers and principals. At this point the Public School legislation is tied up in the budget preparations. Once HB 2 is completed other legislation will begin to be heard.
As of February 9, 2019 there have been 1178 bills introduced. Deadline for new legislation to be introduced is Thursday, February 14, 2019.
HB5 (Public Education Changes) will be heard tomorrow morning, Feb 9, in House Ed at 9am.
As NMASBO Representative on the NMPSIA Board I am sharing the rate increases for FY 2020. I am sure you are aware that last year NMPSIA did not pass on as large an increase as was intended and reduced it to 4% increase for Medical and no increase for Dental. As such NMPSIA continues to have it's fiscal responsibility to improve it's insufficient fund balance. We have done our best to manage this challenge and yet minimize the increases to Employees, Districts and Charters. Please note the reason for a difference in percentage increase for the Medical Low Option has to do with ACA Compliance.
That being said:
More bill information-
Here is the rundown:
This morning HB 95, Retiree Health Care Fund Contributions, got a unanimous DO PASS in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee. In the same committee our pension bill, HB 360, the companion bill to SB 14, Educational Retirement Changes, also got a unanimous DO PASS. The bill was amended to remove the $248.3 million appropriation related to the restitution to the fund from the contribution swaps and the delay in the implementation of the employer contribution increases passed in 2005.
The New Mexico Legislature is well underway, and it appears that many good things are happening this year. First and foremost, the funding for the State Equalization Guarantee which funds our day-to-day operations is likely to increase substantially with districts (in SB1 as of 2/1/19) garnering between 6% and almost 28% new dollars.
LESC Impact Aid Presentation
HB250 Signed by Governor - Chapter 16 - Feb 4
Here is what we have within our representative and senator spreadsheet databases as of Feb. 4, 2019.
This past week hearing's continued on the 48 bills in the "Rocket Docket"
Legislative Package. At the same time we also began to see other legislation receive hearing's. One such bill was SB 14, Educational Retirement Changes. On a 7-1 vote the Senate Education Committee gave the bill a DO Pass. It next goes to the Senate Finance Committee for a hearing. Thanks for the calls to committee members. The bill had a lot of support during the committee hearing.
We have received confirmation that HB 95, Retiree Health Care Fund Contributions, will be heard in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. The hearing is in room 305.
Thanks for all your calls and SUPPORT of HB 95!
I want too thank Joe Guillen for the following email report on this week’s legislative activities. I also remind you that we post all updates for the Session to our website. Please feel free to review the information we have there. I may be calling on you to be prepared to come to Santa Fe soon for a few issues that are emerging. Stay tuned!
Have a great weekend!
A key Legislative Committee Voted unanimously Wednesday (1/23) to approve a proposal that would incrementally increase minimum salaries for public school teachers and Principals. This vote moves our teaches salaries competitive with places like El Paso. The proposal calls for the starting salary for Level 1 teachers to rise from $36, 000 annually to $45,000 by 2022. It calls for Level 2 teachers increases from $44,000 to $55,000 by 2022, Level 3 teachers pay would go from $54,000 to $65,000 by 2022. Levels are determined by the number of years of experience and teacher evaluations. The minimum salaries for licensed school principals are linked to Level 3 teacher pay and would rise with those salaries. In discussion with the Governor staff they have advised me that the Governor is behind this and is also looking at a 6 percent this year for all school personal.
The focus of this past week seemed to be on the hearing's on the 48 bills that are part of the "Rocket Docket" legislative package. As indicated last week these are bills passed in both chambers last year by large majorities, but were vetoed by the Governor. These bills are being heard in one committee and then sent to the House or Senate floor for a vote.
Another key highlight was in the Senate Education Committee where the committee gave a DO PASS on Senate Bill 1. This bill provides a wide range of changes to public education including raises to the teacher salary tiers, increases the amount of money for at-risk student resources, extends funding sources for extending learning time, adds additional instructional days, professional development days and after school programs.
As indicated in a previous email, HB 95 (RHCA Bill) is NOT being heard in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee on Monday, January 28, 2019. It is tentatively scheduled to be heard on Friday, Feb 1 or Saturday, Feb 2 in the House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee. Please continue to call and urge Committee members to support HB 95. Don't let them forget our bill.
The number of bills introduced rose again this week. As of January 26, 2019, there have been 884 bills introduced.
I have attached the entire 2019 LFC REPORT which has a lot of interesting and informative statistics. It’s a bit long (157 pages), but public education is on page 85.
Have a great week!
The Senate Education Committee passed SB 1 which is the major funding bill for public schools. I sent you the bill analysis with an embedded table for your review. I spent a great deal of time with the analysts from both the LESC and LFC to understand how they built the funding numbers. The following is a quick recap:
1. The table is built on the first assumption being and increase (including benefits) of a 6.5% increase in teaching salaries,
a 7.5% increase in principal salaries, and a 4% increase in all other salaries; THEN
2. Instituting the new minimum salaries for teachers of SB 47; THEN
3. extended Learning Time adding the equivalency of 10 days (80 hours that include extra teacher PD); AND
4. Assuming all schools and their teachers who qualify for K-5 + adding 25 days
I will be sending you a summary of this week’s actions by the Legislature later this week, but I am attaching the analysis for SB1 Which funds a good part of the Appropriation for Public Schools. Within the document is a table that gives a district by district impact of the bill. Please review the numbers for the district you serve and the language that is included in the analysis and let me know of the problems you might see. The Senate Education Committee considered this bill on Monday and withheld action due to several problematic parts. I expect that they will consider it again on Friday. Any concerns that you can provide me before Friday will assist me in giving impact analysis. You can track the bill by going to nmlegis.gov and looking up SB 1.
Seasons Greetings!! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The New Mexico Legislature (54th Legislature) begins its deliberations at Noon on January 15, 2019 and ends at Noon on March 16,2019. This Session is the first one in almost 10 years that has significant opportunity to consider financing New Mexico Public Schools at a level that is needed to serve the needs of our students. A “new” House of Representatives will join an experienced Senate in proposing legislation that will affect our students for years to come. With a new Governor, and Secretary of Education, this proves to be an opportunity for us, as practitioners, to make our case for what is needed for our public school children.
So, I am asking that each of you become active in this process. I have spent much of November and December travelling around the state and meeting with you and your legislators to provide our “Policy Recommendations” and answer questions regarding them. I have encountered much support and some push back. It is imperative that we speak with one voice and stay focused on our priorities. As I reviewed with many of you at our last Superintendents Meeting on December 7, we expect to coordinate our efforts with you to have a presence in Santa Fe each day that there is discussion regarding Public Schools. A master calendar will provide you with an opportunity to assure your schedule is well used. As a superintendent, or other school leader, you are called on to take many leadership roles at this time of year. This year, we need to make our presence in Santa Fe a priority.
This November has seen the General Election finish and we want to welcome our New Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham as our newest partner in the new role she is entering. As we make this transition into the future, I am reminded that we are in one of the most critical times for public education in New Mexico. As she and her administration take over the leadership of the State PED it is incumbent that we map a course that will ensure that our students will be ready for their future and that we have a plan to ensure that the graduates from our public schools are well readied.
As a Coalition, with the insights of our Superintendents and others, we have launched “A Vision to Transform Education in New Mexico – 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future” which we featured in our October Straight Talk. The finalized document is linked to our website here 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.
This insightful work, completed by our New Mexico School Superintendents Association and endorsed by our NMCEL Board of Directors clearly defines, from a practitioner’s lens, the critical areas of focus and legislative action that must happen for us to meet our mission. It includes developing the Profile of a New Mexico Graduate which allows us to focus our mission with the end in mind. It places significance on the necessity that stable and sufficient funding be provided to assure that long term, right sized funding be calculated into the base. It reflects the significant crisis that we currently face to develop, recruit and retain human capital and sets targeted actions that will accomplish that end. It focuses on the implementation of an equitable delivery system and progress monitoring and compels the renewed effort to restructure our instructional delivery system to meet the requirements of the future. And, importantly insists that the State’s educational statutes must include ongoing advice from educational practitioners by enacting an “Education Practitioner Advisory Council.”
With the 2019 Legislative Session imminent, now is the time for us to be active, clear, and unified in our discussions with the new Governor’s Transition Team and our Legislators in urging them to implement the Policy Recommendations in this legislative cycle. With more than $1.5 billion in recurring and non-recurring funds, there is no more essential action that must be taken than to focus on our public education system and the sufficient funding necessary to serve ALL of our students. The pressure to do the right thing is even more pronounced as the Yazzie/Martinez Lawsuit imminently overlooks the actions of our Executive and Legislative leadership.
The time to LEAD is NOW!!
I am excited to announce that the NMSSA and NMCEL have adopted “A Vision to Transform Education in New Mexico – 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.” This document will guide our efforts for moving New Mexico Public Education forward into 2019 and beyond. It is an effort completed by 36 of your fellow superintendents addressing all aspects of legislation, practice and visioning. This wonderful work exemplifies what we, as practitioners, find necessary to propel our system into the next four years and beyond. (The complete work is available at this link: 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.) The following is an executive summary of that work:
Commitment to our Children
A successful education system is one of shared commitments, where each stake-holder understands his/her responsibilities and takes seriously the work that must be done to reach the common goals of our collective society. The responsibilities of schools go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. Schools are fundamental to our democracy.
The 2018-2019 School Year is underway throughout New Mexico and it looks like an eventful year for our New Mexico Public Schools. Over the summer, a number of things have occurred that will surely affect our future and potentially change the landscape of our journey. We also saw scholarships, awards, and momentum that help us remember the legacy work we are doing every day. The newsletter this month reflects all of this and more. I hope you find it a great read and come back month after month to see what progress is being made. These are items of note that I suggest you consider: 1. The Plaintiffs (Districts) prevailed in the Sufficiency Lawsuit called the “Martinez/Yazzie Matter”; 2. The State projects that the revenue for the general fund in FY 19 is likely to be considerably more than allocated in the General Appropriations Act for FY 19; 3. The NMSSA Work Group that has established basic principles for New Mexico Public Education has begun the final framework for action and funding; 4. NMCEL recognized a talented set of Administrators of the Year during the Summer Conference and Awarded Scholarships to Students who plan on entering the educational workforce soon.
Colleagues: What are you up to? That is the question that I remember hearing this time of year. And my response was, “Oh nothing! Just building a budget, completing evaluations, working on next year’s staffing, PARCC Testing, managing through the politics of my community, and figuring out how we are going to manage the building renovations and improvements we are going to do this summer. So, if I were to guess, I suppose you are feeling a little busy right now.
Sine Die! That is the last motion of each Legislature. It is the motion that declares all actions completed and ends the proceedings. Thursday, February, 16, 2018, that was uttered in the NM State Senate and NM State House. And so it was done (pending the Governor’s actions). So, what was accomplished?