Public education is a central issue to the community--not just the community in which you live, but the business and political communities as well. In a past article, I provided an overview of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the degree to which its tentacles have a grip on public policy in general, and public education in particular. The only defense our public schools and our students have is our advocacy is parents, educators and citizens.
The 2013 New Mexico Legislative Session is in full swing, having just passed the midpoint of the 60-day session. There are over 1,000 pieces of legislation making their way through House and Senate committees, many of which are related to public education. There are bills that push the ALEC agenda, which focus on getting public education funding into the hands of private corporations. Then there are bills crafted with the input of actual educators, which focus on designing a public education system that meets the needs of our students.
It is the duty of every stakeholder in New Mexico's public education system (which is really every New Mexican) to educate themselves and advocate for what is best for our children. Educators and parents have first-hand knowledge of what our children need. ALEC and our non-educator policymakers do not.