Updated: January 19, 2021 06:19 PM
Created: January 19, 2021 04:48 PM
SANTA FE, N.M.- Give it back to the local leaders. That's the motto for House Republicans going into the 2021 legislative session.
They want kids in classrooms immediately.
One of the first bills from the GOP calls for giving local school boards more control about whether to allow in-person learning.
"The longer we keep our kids out of the classroom, the longer it's going to take to get them caught back up; and you have to remember, if we weren't last, we were almost last in the nation," said House Minority Leader Rep. Jim Townsend. "We don't need any more impediments to get our kids back in class."
House Republican leaders claim many superintendents back their proposal, along with some educator groups but they need input from teachers unions.
Part of the plan would be for teachers who are still uncomfortable being in classrooms, to provide virtual learning to families who prefer it.
Recovering our economy is also a top priority for Republicans, and they're specifically focusing on small businesses.
However, Republicans do not want to see increased taxes. They would also rather the federal government offer a new stimulus package.
"Our caucus is full of people who have started and operate successful businesses, they employ people and have longevity," said Rep. Rebecca Dow. "And we have people who are pretty darn successful and understand money, and we hope they listen to us."
House Republicans also want to reign in spending.
They say Democrats are proposing budget plans that rely heavily on federal help, which they belive is unwise.
"We're going to be dependent on the federal government to fix New Mexico's problems, and that's because we continue to dig a deeper hole," said Rep. Rod Montoya.
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