Sapien Joins Senate Democrats to Vote Against Rewarding Rio Rancho Public Schools
Albuquerque, NM – Today, Democrat Senator John Sapien voted against Senate Bill 140, which would have provided high-performing school districts, including Rio Rancho Public Schools, the same additional flexibility currently provided to charter schools in New Mexico.
The legislation, which was defeated by Sapien and his fellow Senate Democrats on the Senate floor this afternoon, would have given school districts with grades of A or B for two consecutive years flexibility on several legal requirements of public schools in New Mexico, including the length of the school day, class load, and subject areas covered by the curriculum. These requirements are already waived for New Mexico charter schools. As Rio Rancho’s public schools have earned a B grade the past three years, they would have qualified for this flexibility.
“Rio Rancho’s schools are among the best in our state, and yet their Senator John Sapien voted against rewarding them for their quality,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Spokesman Tucker Keene. “Additional flexibility would allow high-performing schools like Rio Rancho to personalize their curriculum and innovate in ways that further help their students and improve their schools. High performing districts like Rio Rancho have shown they don’t need quite the level of oversight as others in New Mexico, they deserve to be rewarded for their success. Sapien is voting against the interests of his constituents and their children.”
When the legislation implementing the school district A-F grading system was passed six years ago, high performing school districts were intended to be rewarded, but no rewards have ever been implemented.