PED holds public hearing on proposal to require 5-day school weeks
SANTA FE, N.M. – The Public Education Department is getting an earful about a possible rule change to measure the school year in days, not hours.
That would mean big changes for school districts on four-day school weeks, and there are a lot of them in New Mexico.
Members of the public got to weigh in at a public meeting Monday in Santa Fe. KOB 4 sat in on that hearing, and some folks came a long way to make their voices heard.
More than 100 folks signed up for public comment Monday, and they came from all across the state.
All of them spoke out against the proposed rule that would change the in-class requirements passed by the Legislature in 2022 from 1,140 hours to 180 days, as well as requiring all schools to move to a five-day week.
The teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and students who spoke said the four-day schedule made sense for their rural communities.
Allowing an extra day for extracurricular activities has improved attendance, test scores, and gives families flexibility when it comes to commuting to and from school.
“Changing the calendar is over simplifying the problem, giving kids more of something that is not working won’t make it better,” said Dr. Robert Hunter, superintendent of Gallup Middle College High School.
Many of these schools have been on a four-day schedule for decades, with one going all the way back to the 80s.
On Monday, we only heard from folks who were opposed to this rule. The hearing officer made it clear the PED board will not be expressing their thoughts or debate the change Monday.
This was the last public meeting scheduled for this issue.