Rebuking families and teachers, Lujan Grisham’s PED OKs harsh mandates

Far-left Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) has announced a new rule to enforce a mandatory 180-day school calendar, stirring fury among educators, administrators, and lawmakers. While the rule aims to standardize instructional time across the state, exemptions have been included for certain schools, acknowledging the major pushback from the educational community.

Public Education Secretary Arsenio Romero articulated the Department’s stance, “In order to equalize instructional time across the state, we have chosen to adopt the 180-day calendar rule. We must improve student outcomes across the state, our students deserve better, and that begins with quality instructional time in the classroom.”

This adjustment is slated to be implemented in the 2024-25 academic year. Notably, the Santa Fe Public Schools had preemptively planned for such a change, indicating an adaptation of the school year calendar to fit the new requirements by modifying holiday breaks and other scheduled closures.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has been a vocal advocate for this expansion of the school year, reiterating her commitment to a 180-day school year in her State of the State address and displaying her stance by vetoing language in the budget that would have precluded her from enacting the 180-day rule.

However, this proposal has been met with substantial resistance from the educational sector, including the state’s teacher’s unions, who came out in full force against the mandate. A large number of teachers and school administrators voiced their dissent at a public hearing, labeling the move as an overextension of the Public Education Department’s authority. This sentiment was echoed in the thousands of written comments submitted in opposition to the rule change.

Mary Parr-Sánchez, president of the New Mexico branch of the National Education Association teacher’s union, underscored the opposition, stating, “We believe that [the calendar] is a local decision. There was public outcry, and educators were included in that outcry.”

Legislators also criticized the rule, suggesting it contradicts the Legislature’s intention and the principle of local autonomy in decision-making. The 2023 bill passed by both legislative chambers advocated for increased school time measured in hours rather than days.

Concerns have also been raised about the potential erosion of public trust in state decision-making. House Education Committee Chairman Andrés Romero voiced his apprehensions: “I really fear for that, that they’re not going to trust what the state is doing,” alluding to the close timing between the legislative extension of the school year and the new rule’s introduction, per the Santa Fe New Mexican.


25 thoughts on “Rebuking families and teachers, Lujan Grisham’s PED OKs harsh mandates”

  1. Jujubrevolushun

    What’s wrong with 180 day school years? That was always the norm where I grew up. Sounds to me like teachers just want to be lazy and work less.

    1. Many teachers in rural schools here in NM are driving 100-miles round-trip per day, and some have a 2-hour or more trip for medical appointments, etc.

      Many of those rural schools are doing a better job teaching their students in a 4-day week with longer school days than city schools are in 5-day weeks.

      The 180-day rule with either mandate year-round school on a four-day week which will harm ranchers and farmers, or a five-day week that will also cause hardships for rural families.

      And no, I’m not employed by any public school in NM.

      What’s wrong with letting local communities decide what’s best for their children rather than greater government control?

    2. Wrong. Rural schools have been using a 4 10 hour day calendars. It cuts costs and improves educational outcomes

    3. The top performing schools in New Mexico are four day a week schools. They are the rural schools who have totally different demographics and circumstances than Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces. These schools, on average, outperform 5 day a week schools in academics, athletics and vocational areas. They have less truancy, higher graduation rates, higher standardized test scores, fewer discipline problems etc. It seems to me that the PED has an aversion to success. These schools are a resounding success but our illustrious governor and her henchmen at the PED want to punish their success in true Socialist fashion.

    4. Idk how old u are, but I’m 51 and I’ve been teaching for 27 years. Before that I was in school as a student from the time I was 5 until I turned 24. While I can’t speak for the years before that, if you refer to anything in between, you would not only be wrong, but very wrong! The summer break is now 9 weeks and when I was in school it was 3 ful months!

    5. Schools in rural NM have better results ( scores and attendance)than urban schools and use fewer, slightly longer days to accomplish better outcomes . Local governance is responsive to the needs of the community it serves. The state needs to butt out

  2. With as poorly as New Mexico Educators are rated, I believe that increasing the number of days our children are in school to a minimum of 365, would have absolutely no affect.

    1. We don’t have to use our wasted educational resources. There are other options out there. Local control and VERY LITTLE state administrative involvement would greatly improve our school’s overall ratings and actually graduate young people that can count and spell .

  3. 180 days = 5.82 months. How many hours in the school day? It seems as if this shortens the school year. What am I missing? When I was in school it was 9 months out of the year and not many days off. Hmmm

    1. A quick google search reveals there are 251 work days if 11 federal holidays are counted. That doesn’t include all the other weeks and days that schools are closed. That’s 8.6 months when I do the math.

  4. Teachers need time to recover, rest, and then they can revitalize their instruction. There is an optimum number of hours everyday and an optimum number of days every year. Once you go over that the instruction just slows down, because everyone is burnt out. Teachers can only do so much, they will just slow down and deliver less instruction. They don’t do it on purpose it is just built into our system of instruction. Our educational leaders need to think outside the box and find more creative ways to deliver instruction, keep it fun and kids will learn. Return to more integrated thematic learning instead of this test-driven system. (I am a retired LCPS teacher)

  5. When I taught (in Virginia in the 70s) I was often up until midnight most evenings changing plans, as the day NEVER went as the annual daily year planner (required before the start of the school year – to be approved by the principal). We started the year the first week of September, and ended the first week of June. Then, of course, there was summer school. And… leading Girl Scouts and/or 4-H after school. Such a lazy life! Easy Peezy.

  6. We don’t need more days or longer hours but quite the opposite. A friend of mine who is a teacher stated that education is only half a day of instruction. The rest is “institutionalizing” our children. Why not try less hours per day on the current schedule? And definitely allow each district to determine the curriculum. If they thought Covid caused mass withdrawals and more homeschool, what do you think is going to happen here? Not to mention a spike in the dropout rate.

  7. It isn’t about the length of the school year, it’s about the quality of the education. If they eliminated wasted time, they could pare the year down significantly. If we stuck to core curriculum, same.

  8. I taught in a 5 day a week school and then 4 day a week school in rural New Mexico schools. We didn’t have slack time to teach material. We pushed students in 4 day week school. If we had to make up a day on day 5, many students didn’t show up for that day. I also taught during the time school districts had a say about the curriculum. Designed our own curriculum because who knew our students better!
    I drove school bus as well. Left to start route before 6 am because the route was 2 hours from school. Many miles were on dirt road.
    The state needs to turn decision making back to the school districts.

  9. So, New Mexico is at the bottom of the education pile because our students don’t sit in the classroom long enough? MLG must be a freaking genius to have figured that out! I mean, it surely could not be because the curriculum being pushed is moron level, could it?

    You could mandate year long classroom time, but without a strong curriculum, the kids will still come out of schools uneducated.

  10. Loserjan has a long agenda of screwing children and the elderly prior to her being planted in the Governors office — YES PLANTED!! She is determined to screw the citizens of New Mexico now. It’s time to arrest and drag her out of the roundhouse in handcuffs!!!

  11. Just to start a dustup, WHEN Trump gets elected, one of the first things he should do is abolish all teachers unions.. They are a big part of the problem.
    Also, until schools return to teaching US History and Civics, we are sunk. People these days have NO idea how our government works.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top