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Posted: January 25, 2019

A Good Time to be Superintendent

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy praises lawmakers and the new administration for making public education the number-one priority of the 2019 Legislature.

#ADayinSchool at Lew Wallace ES

#ADayinSchool at Lew Wallace ES

It is a good time to be a school district superintendent in New Mexico where lawmakers and the new administration have declared public education as the number-one priority during the 2019 Legislature. As we speak, legislators in Santa Fe are looking for ways to improve education for our students and all public school students across the state.

They are submitting and debating bills that will help at-risk students, students from low-income and minority families, Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants and special needs students.

They are having serious discussions about early childhood education that is developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate so that all children can thrive when they get to kindergarten, thus helping to close the achievement gap for too many of our students.

Lawmakers are negotiating better compensation for teachers and all school employees, recognizing the important role they play not only in educating the next generation of workers and taxpayers but also in growing the state’s economy. As we know all too well, there is a teacher shortage in New Mexico and salaries need to be addressed to keep quality employees and their families from fleeing the state.

There is an honest conversation being had in Santa Fe on testing and other forms of assessments and evaluations for our students, teachers, schools, and districts.

And, for the first time in a very long time, there is funding available to pay for many of these initiatives. During my first three years as superintendent, I can’t tell you how much time we spent looking for ways to cut our budget by tens of millions of dollars.  

Now, we are breathing a little easier and looking for ways to improve schools and programs across the district. Programs like Fine Arts, which is working to get both music and art in all of our elementary school every year. Over the next five years, we plan to hire enough art and music teachers to offer both subjects every year from kindergarten through fifth grade.

While the district isn’t sponsoring any bills this legislative session, we are supporting legislators and the state administration by making sure they have all the information and input they need to make informed decisions. We want them to understand our strengths as well as our challenges. We are all working together for the betterment of the state's children.  

Once again this year, APS is sponsoring a social media campaign during the session called #ADayInSchool to provide lawmakers working on education legislation with constant reminders of the good things that are happening in our schools. Teachers, administrators, and others are encouraged to tweet positive images and messages that show teaching and learning using the hashtag #ADayInSchool. Try to tweet a message a day through the session, which wraps up on March 16.

I so enjoyed seeing all those tweets last year and will be following along again this year on my twitter account, @SuptABQschools.  

We appreciate our state legislators. We know they will be spending long hours over the next couple of months to address the many needs of our state, including public education. Thanks to them and to all of you for caring enough to make a difference.