Education secretary issue heads to Senate

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A plan to get rid of New Mexico’s education secretary is headed to the Senate floor after a panel approved it.

Democrat Michael Padilla’s constitutional amendment would create an elected state board of education with an appointed superintendent to manage New Mexico’s education system.

That’s how the system used to work until 2003 when voters chose the current system.

Republicans claim Democrats are backing the idea because they don’t like Gov. Susana Martinez’s current education appointee Hanna Skandera.

Padilla denies that. He says he wants to take politics out of education, give voters more input, and create more stability.

“It allows for a state superintendent that’s appointed by a state board of education that represents the people to be in place for a month or 28 years. I mean, if they’re doing a good job, they’ll keep their job. If they’re not doing a good job, they’ll be out of there,” said Padilla, D-Albuquerque.

Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, said, “When they had it before, besides one superintendent, they were switching every two to three years. So it’s not going to bring the continuity they claim is their purpose.”.

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