Governor’s News Conference on Public Health Order Fails to Make the Grade When It Comes to Reopening New Mexico Schools

Posted On October 1, 2020

STUDENTS GETTING FURTHER BEHIND, AND MANY EDUCATORS WARN LAWMAKERS THOSE LIVING IN THE STATE’S MOST RURAL REGIONS ARE SUFFERING THE MOST

ALBUQUERQUE, OCTOBER 1 — Today Gov. Lujan Grisham offered no new strategies or definitive plan to fully return New Mexico’s students to classrooms. Her refusal to reopen all classrooms is having a serious impact on students’ learning and mental health. Online schooling is not the panacea to this problem.
It’s unclear why we cannot practice social distancing in schools, hold classes outdoors or take other practical precautions. This can be done safely.

The governor’s tactics have already led to lawsuits, and today New Mexico educators testified to state lawmakers that schools are being set back in all areas. They told a legislative committee that state requirements are not being met and that staffing and budgets are in dire straits.

In particular, rural communities in New Mexico are suffering the most. A report says about half of Native American children have been unable to get online this school year.

“The governor’s decisions continue to fail our students and decay our education system in the state,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce. “We spoke out earlier about a class divide when the governor decided to turn to online schooling. Many rural communities have no access to the internet, and students don’t have computers. These kids don’t have equal access to an education as required under the New Mexico Constitution. This is wrong, unfair and a disgrace. We are already the worst state in education, and our kids are getting further behind. It’s time to get our children back in school.”

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