Lawmakers plan to provide a better education for at-risk students | KOB 4
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Lawmakers plan to provide a better education for at-risk students

Kai Porter
January 17, 2019 06:37 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. - Lawmakers are talking about ways New Mexico can provide a better education for at-risk students.

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Last summer, First Judicial District Chief Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that New Mexico has failed to provide a sufficient education to at-risk children, like English language learners, Native Americans and special education students.

Her ruling stemmed from a lawsuit, Yazzie v. Martinez.

Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, who is filling in as cabinet secretary for the Education Department until a permanent one is named, testified before a panel of lawmakers at the Roundhouse.

“Basically the state was found that were insufficiently funding schools, that we weren’t providing the resources specifically for at-risk students,” Morales said.

He said that some solutions mean more spending. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to increase spending on education by $500 million.

“We’re going to start, first and foremost, with our educators to make sure we have professionals in the classroom who students can see themselves in, in different cultures, but I also make sure that we can address the education shortage that we have,” Morales said.

The Governor wants a 6 percent pay raise for all teachers. Budget lawmakers are proposing increasing the education budget by more than $400 million.

Charles Goodmacher with the National Education Association isn’t sure either amount will satisfy Judge Singleton’s order to provide better education to at-risk students.

“What she said was the state needs to do everything it can now to support student success for every student. We’re not quite sure the proposed budgets meet that standard yet,” Goodmacher said.

Gov. Lujan Grisham is still looking for a permanent cabinet secretary to lead the Education Department.  

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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