Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is taking aim at the four-day school week at the 2024 legislative session and local educators are taking notice.
On Tuesday, in her State address Grisham said “No student should be told that their progress isn’t a priority. Parents and kids deserve the very best from all of us in this room, and from our school system. That’s why I am calling for an expansion of the school year to 180 days and asking the legislature to fund it – so that every child in public school gets the time they need and the education they deserve. We’ve seen in New Mexico, and from states across the country, that more quality instruction makes a difference. We’ve seen the proven effectiveness of more time in class. It’s time to do the right thing for our kids.”
Superintendents Dr. Glenn Haven and Ron Hendrix said they were expecting an announcement on the 180-day calendar proposal from Arsenio Romero, NM Public Education Secretary on Tuesday but it never came.
In response to the state address made by Grisham, Hendrix said “I agree quality instruction is the difference but if she gets rid of my teachers with the five day, I won’t have quality instruction. If quantity made a difference, then all the states that have more hours would be at the top every time and that’s not true.”
Dr. Haven responded, “Now we know it’s been confirmed what their intentions are, but we still stand by our statements that we are not in favor of it.”
Hendrix said that there is speculation that Grisham would do an executive order if the legislature didn’t do what she wanted. He said that if the calendar goes through this way or through legislature the superintendents are prepared to start litigation.
“I really feel like they are doing this to calm the legislators down before the session, so they don’t do anything,” Hendrix said “As citizens of New Mexico we need to start standing up to this tyranny and I believe that is exactly what this is, tyranny. She (Governor) is deciding something on her own accord and putting it into place no matter how many people disagree with her. I’ve never seen the teacher’s union, all the superintendents, the school board associations, and everyone in the state mad at her about this and she doesn’t care.”