Even leftist Santa Fe school board fed up with governor’s ‘unfunded mandate’

Santa Fe Public Schools is facing a daunting budgetary challenge as it adapts to a new Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham administration mandate requiring 180 instructional days per school year without significant funding increases, Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez explained during a recent school board meeting in the leftist school district.

Describing his experience, Chavez said, “This has been the most difficult year to figure out what your budget’s going to look like, what the school calendar is going to look like and meet all the requirements. [It] almost feels like it’s a moving target.”

As the district begins its budget planning, there remains uncertainty around state funding levels, as the New Mexico Public Education Department has not yet finalized student enrollment counts for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. These figures are crucial as they directly influence the financial support the district receives from the state. The district must submit its finalized budget, which last year was nearly $315 million, by May 28.

The implementation of the 180-day requirement, set to begin in the 2024-25 academic year, complicates matters further. Santa Fe schools will need to extend their academic calendar by four days, including two days designated for parent-teacher conferences. The challenge, as outlined by district Chief Financial Officer Robert Martinez, is that the state’s funding formula, which is projecting a modest 3% increase to about $6,442.55 per student, does not adequately cover the cost of these additional days.

Board member Kate Noble highlighted the financial strain, noting the increase is “one of the smallest … in recent memory.” The minimal funding boost is expected to cover a mandated 3% salary increase for educators but falls short of addressing the costs associated with the added instructional days. “The 180-day rule is unfunded. It’s an unfunded mandate,” Chavez stated, emphasizing the lack of financial support for the expanded calendar.

During the process of finalizing the rule, a vast majority of those who spoke at the New Mexico Public Education Department meeting were in strong opposition to the mandate, including parents, administrators, teachers, and even teacher’s unions, which are usually in lockstep with the far-left Lujan Grisham regime. 

Further complicating the budget outlook is the upcoming expiration of federal COVID-19 relief funds in September 2024, alongside rising needs for academic and behavioral support due to learning disruptions caused by the pandemic lockdowns. Noble described the situation as “a kaleidoscope of complexity.”

Board President Sascha Anderson underlined the board’s commitment to maintaining employee benefits, combating chronic absenteeism, enhancing mental health services, bolstering special education, and ensuring effective staff recruitment and retention. These efforts, she believes, are essential to improving the district’s proficiency rates, which remain a major concern.

“We are all concerned about our proficiency scores; not a person in this room is not concerned about our proficiency scores,” Anderson declared, as reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican. “The way that we get those up is through quality instruction.”


10 thoughts on “Even leftist Santa Fe school board fed up with governor’s ‘unfunded mandate’”

  1. Those at most risk are the small schools using a 4 day week. They must now do 5 days, meaning extra busing, extra heat or cooling and they may also loose teachers. Too bad our court system is corrupt. There is a law suit in the works, but don’t hold your breath because it’s seldom that any of our judicial employees stand against her majesty the tyrant.

    1. And the four day a weeks schools outperform the 5 day a week schools in nearly every catagory. Why punish something that is working…..and working very well? We have an aversion to success here in New Mexico. We kill anything that succeeds and promote anything that is a failure. Way to go MLG and PED!!! Oh, and by the way….I’m a public school teachers of 31 years and have taught a four and five day a weeks schools. I’m very familiar with the “educational” system in New Mexico…..

  2. If NM keeps electing dems we will continue to fail and fail again. Some day maybe NMs will learn but not in my life time.

  3. Everybody wants to rule the world.
    4 days is so much better for me me me me…
    5 days is too much work for me me me me…
    180 days a year is too much work for me me me me…
    Its all about…Me.
    It can only be about…Me.
    I dont make enough money teaching…
    I dont get enough time off…
    I dont get enough benefits…
    I dont like 5 day work weeks…

    That is what the primary and secondary teaching industry (aka Union) has successfully completed in New Mexico… Me.

    In life… there are 2 jobs that have significant social engineering skills…be it positive or negative.
    Teachers and Cops. Positive and negative and in that order.
    When the positive bi**hes all the time? Me me mememememememememmemememememememmeemmemeememememmeemmeememem…is the motto.
    Get back to loving what you do and teach, not indoctrinate…TEACH. Be the hero again. Be the role model again… or else the cops will insure the kids get a negative life skill in prison.

    Hey bubba…pass the soap?

    Make this about the kids… Is that too hard to do?

  4. Loserjans antics are becoming quit irritating!! It’s time to have her removed and banned from Gov’t!! I want to be deputized so I can be on the team that handcuffs and drags her ass out of the roundhouse!

  5. New Mexico has always been at the bottom of poorly producing educational states. It is not the days it is the instruction. We have a horrid educational system in this state we are ranked with Alamba as the worst state for education. We have an overpaid administration and not enough good teachers who want to stay here. The oil and gas industry pays most of the budget for education in this state, yet the dumb Governor is restricting them in ways to produce the products of oil and gas. In addition, the budget historically and even recently 88 percent of the total state budget goes to Education, and yet sad results. So, folks head over to the PTA meeting and school board meeting and demand excellence from the lazy administrators. Demand getting back to good old-fashioned reading writing arithmetic, history , geography, and such, stop with the social justice BS.

  6. We spend way too much on what the State calls “education” and still get very poor results. I went to school in the 50s and 60s and the level of education then was equal to at least 2 years of college today. Money is not the problem. Discipline, subjects required and grading that is too easy combined with teachers who are poorly trained and just plain ignorant ARE the problem. This will not get solved because they just do not want a solution.

    1. Paul, like you, I attended NM public schools in the 50’s and 60’s. We actually were learning then. Today, what is taught and how it is taught, is disgraceful.

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