SANTA FE (KRQE) – A massive rally outside the State Capitol took place today.
Thousands of teachers and supporters called out the Governor and her plan for the education budget.
President of the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico Stephanie Ly said, “Our students are not test scores, we want to be able to teach them what we don’t want. We don’t want this demoralization that this governor has set forth. Our kids are not failures, our educators are not failures, our schools are not failures.”
The crowd stormed the steps of the Roundhouse then made their way inside armed with signs and bullhorns today.
The big fight is over $20 million in education spending. Democrats and teachers unions want the money controlled and spent by school districts. Republicans want to invest it in the governor’s state-managed education reforms, which includes merit-based teacher raises and other education initiatives for new teachers. Teachers unions also want a 3% pay increase across the board.
There’s also the fight over standardized testing. Teachers say kids are over tested and do not like the idea that those tests are a large part of their evaluations.
The Governor told us today education reform is working..
“So those are some great achievements, but that’s been because of the reforms not because we’ve been fighting and talking about the grown-ups, but because we are taking about the kids.”
Those who rallied today also want smaller classroom sizes and an increase in resources for early childhood reading.