You make a difference! Every district in New Mexico is holding some form of graduation for their students. What a wonderful time to recognize what we are about in New Mexico Public Schools. Even under the most unusual sets of circumstances that any of us have experienced (COVID-19) we have persevered to assure that our students finished out the year. Congratulations!!!
As we prepare for the new year several significant considerations have become necessary as we enter Summer 2020. First, the New Mexico Public Education Department has decided to allow districts to finish Extended Learning 19 (if in the district CLP) to complete activities for the 2019-2020 school year. But, because of the cadence of social distancing required under the state’s Health Order, PED indicated that K-5+ will not have enough time to operate under the 25-day requirement and the cohort requisite in statute. With July 1 looming as the target start date, it became apparent that districts simply could not meet both requirements and so PED decided to deactivate the Summer 2020 K-5+ program. In a clarifying memo, the Secretary recently indicated that the ELTP plans that districts have for the 2020-21 school year will be allowed. These two decisions will have impacts on a number of districts.
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.
I recently was reminded that student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change. In order for adult behaviors to change, we all have to be reminded that we have a responsibility to put aside any personal goals, ambitions, issues or grievances for the greater good of the thousands of students throughout the state. It isn’t “they” or “them” that needs to change; it is all of us who must proclaim and embrace “I am New Mexico.” We have to work interdependently, to create opportunities for students to succeed. As a new administration and legislature continue to review old and establish new policies, statutes and rules impacting education, the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders stands ready to work collaboratively on behalf of children, parents, teachers, and all those who have devoted their lives to the institution of public education. I am astounded and humbled by the servant leadership that permeates to every corner of the state, and I look forward to playing my small part in helping shape our future. May we all remember that our focus is simple … to do what’s best for kids.
William D. Hawkins
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Hobbs Municipal Schools