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Dec 16, 2019


First, a time of reflection and support. Since our last Straight Talk members of our “family” have suffered loss. Superintendent Kirk Carpenter’s wife Teresa has lost her health battle and has passed. Secondly, Business Manager for NMCEL/NMSSA, Jo Lynn Gallegos, has suffered a second recent loss (losing her son earlier this fall) as her mother was lost to a head injury resulting in death. And, a note of the loss of Superintendent LeeAnn Gandy’s son earlier this fall, also. We ask that you keep all three families in your prayers. At this time of joy and anticipation I ask that you remember the impact that losses such as these have on each of these “family members.”

We at NMCEL/NMSSA wish each of you and your families the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years. We pause and pray for your peace and joy.

Nov 7, 2019

November is a time of thanksgiving and a time when districts are looking forward to the holidays. It is a time, now, when districts are anticipating the outcomes of their Board elections and the outcomes of voter support for bonds and mil levies. This newest “fall tradition” is a new experience for us and adds even more anticipation into our holidays.   As I have talked to many district administrators this fall, there seems to be questions about several realities.

Oct 2, 2019


Autumn is upon us and I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with many of you in the last two months, individually and at the Regional NMSBA meetings around the state.  I look forward to seeing more of you soon as we finish up those meetings. Additionally, I recognize that many of you are still working at being fully staffed while for others this is your first superintendency.

Sep 3, 2019

Welcome back to School Year 2019-2020! As each of you gear up into the new year, I am excited to stay connected with each of you. I plan on being in as many regions and districts as I can this year to maintain an understanding of the challenges and successes that each of you are experiencing. You each make a difference in our students and, therefore, our state.

We welcome our new Secretary of Education. His name is Dr. Ryan Stuart and his most recent duty was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I had the opportunity to meet him personally with the Governor just prior to the official announcement on August 12. We look forward to helping him learn New Mexico and I have offered to take him around as I traverse this great state.

May 15, 2019


Another year in the books. This time of year, as I recall, is one of considerable activity as you prepare your budget for next year, perform those final evaluations, set up staffing for next year, graduate those students that you have worked so hard to get across the stage, and find the inspiration to begin “visioning” where you and your district are heading next year. From my chair, I want to recognize your hard work and give you thanks on behalf of all of us in the system of public education in New Mexico. Recently, I found data that shows your hard work is accomplishing many of our goals. For example, our graduation rate in New Mexico has been on a steady increase and has moved New Mexico onto par with our nation and in many cases, beyond – congratulations!

Apr 18, 2019


Thank you for your continuing leadership!

The 2019 Legislature has finished, and the Governor has acted on all of the legislation that was completed. This was a unique session as it started very quickly with the “Rocket Docket” bills being pushed through in the first weeks of the session and a flurry of activity on behalf of the Legislature. At the end, 46 public school related bills passed and were signed, and an additional 14 Memorials were passed. Within this newsletter is a synopsis of that enacted legislation. Preeminent in these actions were the funding and restructuring of public school programs and funding related to the Martinez-Yazzie Lawsuit, the restructuring of teacher salaries and the increases of salaries of all public school personnel along with an increase in minimum wage.

Apr 11, 2019

2019 Legislative Outcomes

Sine Die! That is the last motion of each Legislature. It is the motion that declares all actions completed and ends the proceedings. Saturday, March 16, 2019, 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?

Apr 5, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             

April 5, 2019
CONTACT: Jan Goodwin | NMERB Executive Director |  505. 476. 6118 |

Apr 4, 2019


Find attached the Executive Message and the final actions of the Governor yesterday on HB5. Importantly, please note the line item veto listed in the Message. This line item veto apparently adds flexibility on the instructional time involved in the minimum days requirement. I am reaching out to the Secretary to assist us in conveying how this relaxed requirement will affect the “rules of engagement” for both the 4 day week districts as well as the 5 day week districts. Quite possibly, for example, districts could issue a 160 or 180 day teachers’ contract and use an extension of instruction time (10 more days) from current practice and still meet the extended learning time requirements. Please note that there were no line item vetoes applied to the K-5+ provisions.

I will send you further information as it is made available.

Best Regards:

Stan Rounds
Executive Director
NM Coalition of Educational Leaders/
NM School Superintendents Association
6600 Palomas Ave, NE
NMAA Building
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone:   505-217-2345
Cell:      575-915-7868

Mar 11, 2019


As we begin the last week of the 54th NM Legislative Session there remains a lot of unfinished business. This afternoon the Senate Finance Committee will release the Senate version of HB 2, General Appropriations Act. In the same committee, HB 360, Educational Retirement Changes, will be heard as well as HB 501, Increase Certain PERA & ERB Contributions. Both bills have passed the House and are on the last track in the Senate. Their journey has been challenging. Both bills will see the Employer Contributions amended from .05% to .25%. At this stage nothing is guaranteed.

Mar 7, 2019


The New Mexico Legislature has unanimously confirmed Dr. Karen Trujillo as the Secretary of Public Education. She is a New Mexico native and brings a strong, diverse practitioner background to the job. Karen served on the NMCEL Board for many years and has been a champion for supporting our teacher educator development through her many roles including Educators Rising. Already, she has reached out to Superintendents and other educational leaders to engage the “field” in policy direction and decision-making. In her Senate Rules Committee Hearing, she used a fitting analogy to a rebuilding of a northern New Mexico church in which her family was part, in urging us, New Mexicans, to build back our New Mexico Public Education System “adobe by adobe and brick by brick” until it is a fulfillment of our community. Congratulations to our new Secretary of Public Education, Dr. Karen Trujillo!

Mar 4, 2019

We have a Secretary! Dr. Karen Trujillo has been confirmed Secretary of Education!!!

Mar 4, 2019

Dr. Karen Trujillo, awaiting confirmation for Secretary of Education from the Senate Floor.

Mar 4, 2019


On Friday afternoon, March 1, 2019, HB 95, RHCA, had a  brief hearing in HAFC. Unfortunately, the bill was temporarily tabled leaving our bill in jeopardy. There maybe efforts to address the bill with the Governor's Office, but right now passage of HB 95 doesn't look very good. We will keep you informed.

Mar 4, 2019

Dr. Karen Trujillo has been unanimously recommended for confirmation of Secretary of Education by the Rules Committee!!

Mar 4, 2019

Legislative Update on HB2, HB5, and SB1 Plus a few other assorted bills...

Feb 28, 2019

Good evening,

We were notified earlier  this evening that HB 95, Retiree Heath Care Fund Contributions, & HB 360, ERB Changes, will be heard either tomorrow afternoon, Friday, March 1, 2019, or Saturday afternoon, March 2, 2019, in the House Appropriations Committee. HAFC Committee meets in room 307 at

1:30 pm. With two weeks remaining in this legislative session, time is of essence. We need to take this opportunity to let HAFC Committee members know HOW IMPORTANT these two bills are to retirees and URGE THEM TO SUPPORT HB 95 & HB 360. Of particular note, Rep Tomas Salazar is sponsoring both bills.

Feb 24, 2019


Last Friday, NMAER participated in "Senior Day" activities at the State Capitol. We joined a number of other non-profit organizations in celebrating this day. Our day included a table with  information on NMAER, thank you notes and candies for Legislative Offices and listening to the House and Senate PASSING, House Memorial 5, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Stapleton, & Senate Memorial 70, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart, in their respective chambers. These Memorials declared Friday, February 22, 2019 as NMAER Day, acknowledged our AAL's and the "tidbits" of information they provide legislators, and recognized the over $7.6 million dollar value of volunteer service by retired educators in 2018. Special thanks to Gary Williams & DeAnza Sapien, AARP, Roger & Terry Greer, Virginia Hamilton, Pauline Rindone, City Different Retired Educators Association, Rebecca Baca, Sue Griffith & Richard Romero, & other NMAER Executive Board members. Congratulations on a "job well done."

Feb 21, 2019

HAFC Recommendation Table for HB2 et al.

Use the link above to find the Public School Support and Related Appropriations for FY20 table that is the HAFC Recommendation that will be considered on the House Floor in the next several days.

Feb 20, 2019

NMAER Legislative-IMMEDIATE ACTION - February 20, 2019

Good morning,

HB 2 - General Appropriations Act of 2019  is on the docket first thing today (11 a.m.) in the House of Representatives.  Please call the House Leadership Team immediately with this message:

Feb 19, 2019

NMAER Legislative-CALL TO ACTION Update - February 19, 2019


I am writing this afternoon to provide you with an update on HB 2.

Feb 17, 2019


This week the NM Educational Retirement Board announced the 2019 Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) to be applied to eligible retirees as of July 1, 2019 as follows:

Feb 15, 2019

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!

Feb 12, 2019

Some highlights of bills passed and signed include:

Feb 10, 2019


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.

Feb 7, 2019

Hi All,

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:

Feb 7, 2019

More bill information-

Here is the rundown:

Feb 6, 2019

Good evening,

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.

Feb 6, 2019

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.

We have been working with legislative staff and the bill sponsors to assure that there is sufficiency for all of the deliverables assumed for each district (for example, participation in K-5+, extended learning time, and added PD days). Additionally, we have been working on how the roughly $110m for at-risk funding can/will be used. As this month moves forward, many of these questions will be answered.

Feb 4, 2019

HB250 Signed by Governor - Chapter 16 - Feb 4

Feb 4, 2019


Here is what we have within our representative and senator spreadsheet databases as of Feb. 4, 2019.

2019 Representative Superintendent Contact Listing 2.4.19

2019 Senator Superintendent Contact Listing 2.4.19

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!

Feb 1, 2019


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!


Jan 29, 2019


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. 

Jan 28, 2019


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.

Jan 28, 2019

Hello Everyone,

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!


Jan 26, 2019


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

Jan 23, 2019


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 and looking up SB 1.

Best Regards:


Jan 7, 2019

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.

Nov 13, 2018


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!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Oct 26, 2018


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.


Sep 25, 2018


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.

May 7, 2018

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.

Apr 18, 2018

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?

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