By now, most citizens of Curry County are aware of the special election coming up on Tuesday. As a teacher of 17 years in Clovis, and as a parent of one child in the schools, I am asking the voting citizens to please pass the two constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Amendment 1 will provide for a Secretary of Education who, according to the law, must be a “qualified, experienced educator.” The Secretary will advise the governor and sit as a member of the governor’s cabinet. Amendment 1 will elevate public education’s status equal to other cabinet-level interests (prisons, highways, etc.). The public, and that includes educators, wants accountability. A Secretary of Education will be a person from whom they can hear progress reports and judge the performance of the administration.
Amendment 2 will provide needed funding from our Permanent Fund. Why is this funding needed?
1) Because New Mexico’s teachers are among the most poorly compensated in the nation. If we are to attract and retain great teachers, we must improve salaries.
2) To help pay for teacher salary minimums that are part of the rigorous new three-tier licensure system signed into New Mexico law last spring.
3) To help implement the federal mandates (largely not funded) from No Child Left Behind Act.
A careful reading of Amendment 2 shows that it provides many prudent safeguards that will protect our fund for the future. Amendment 1 provides an opportunity for the children in our schools to get the attention they deserve. I believe this is why many of our long-serving and respected leaders support these amendments.
I have enjoyed teaching here these many years because people in this area support their schools. I am asking for your help and support once again — not for me, but for our children. This is a vote for the future. Please vote yes on both amendments.
Wendy Hubby of Clovis is a fifth-grade teacher and a parent.