ATF Acts! 10 Days of Legislative Actions

5 Days Left! Beating Back Bad Bills & Supporting Ethnic Studies!

February 11, 2018

Stalled in Committee: House Bill 219 – “Adjunct” Teachers in Our Schools

This afternoon, members of the House State Government, Indian, and Veterans Affairs Committee rejected the latest attempt to deprofessionalize teaching.

HB 219, carried by Reps. Monica Youngblood (R) and Rebecca Dow (R) and supported by the NM PED, would use our students as guinea pigs for a pilot program that allows unlicensed people to become teachers in middle and high school. To boot, these unlicensed adjuncts would be considered contractors, would not be eligible to join their union and could be fired at any time- perpetuating the problematic revolving door of educators in students’ lives.

Year after year, we oppose this bill. We believe our students deserve well-prepared professionals. We should be creating an environment in New Mexico that attracts (and retains!) educators who make a career commitment to educate our students, not one that treats our careers as a hobby.

While technically not tabled, several attempts from supporters to move the bill out of this committee failed, dimming its chances to be heard again in 2018. We will keep HB 219 on our radar until the end of the legislative session.

We would like to thank members of the HSIV Committee who stood with New Mexico educators this afternoon: Chairwoman Georgene Louis, Rep. Andres Romero, Rep. Wonda Johnson, and Rep. Rudy Martinez!

ACTION!
Support Senate Joint Memorial 20- Volunteer School District Ethnic Studies

Over the last few years, ATF has been working alongside our partners at UNM, APS and in the community to create Ethnic Studies in all of our high schools. We wholeheartedly support Senator Linda Lopez’s (D) bill that would bring together stakeholders from across the state to develop a plan to implement Ethnic Studies in our schools statewide.

This bill will be heard in Senate Education tomorrow, Monday! Send a message to members of the Senate Education Committee letting them know you support Senate Joint Memorial 20 (Lopez).

Sen. Bill Soules, bill.soules@nmlegis.gov
Sen. Michael Padilla, michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov
Sen. Candace Gould, candace.gould@nmlegis.gov
Sen. Bill O’Neill, oneillsd13@billoneillfornm.com
Sen. John Pinto, email not listed
Sen. Mimi Stewart, mimi.stewart@nmlegis.gov
Sen. James White, james.white@nmlegis.gov
Sen. Craig Brandt, craig.brandt@nmlegis.gov
Capitol Switchboard: 505-986-4300


6 Days Left! Republicans Backtrack, Propose Imaginary Raises

February 10, 2018

Realizing their initial attempt at House Bill 310 was sub-par, House Republicans scrambled to amend their bill that, originally, would have rendered our AFT New Mexico lawsuit invalid and would have given PED free-range to decide who advanced in licensure levels.

In an attempt to revive the bill, the sponsors amended it—limiting it to disproportionately increasing beginning teachers pay and turning the $5 million merit-pay provision to “recruitment” incentives”. The unfunded bill will make great sound bites during the upcoming election. Our message to them: We see through you.

House Republicans conveniently forgot to appropriate any money for their imaginary raises in HB310. They also neglected to work with the folks on the appropriation committee, making their “raises” lip-service, at best.

The unfunded and divisive bill was tabled.

We’ve already heard that Ruszkowski’s “Teach Plus” group has demonized the House members who voted to table the bill. They voted to table because they know campaign slogans and divisive tactics are not good policy.

This union will always stand up for everyone in our bargaining unit, not just a select few. The AFT New Mexico press release below has more details.

ACTION

Reply to this email with your message of support for the Legislators who held the line with us.

A huge thanks you goes out to the following Representatives:

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D)
Rep. Andres Romero (D)
Rep. Tomás Salazar (D)
Rep. Deborah Sariñana (D)
Rep. Sheryl-Williams Stapleton (D)
Rep. Christine Trujillo (D)
Rep. Linda Trujillo (D)


7 Days Left! A Day full of victories!

February 9, 2018

SB119- Increase Teacher Minimum Salaries carried by Sen. Mimi Stewart (D) passed the Senate Finance Committee. This bill would raise teacher salary minimums to $36K, $44K, $54K.

HB210- School Academic & Reading Improvement Plans (aka Third Grade Retention) carried by Rep. Monica Youngblood (R) was defeated in the House Education Committee this morning. As educators, we know that not all students learn at the same rate and that research has never shown that retention helps students. In fact, students who are retained in third grade are more likely to drop out of school, only fueling the school-to-prison pipeline. Students need funded, quality intervention help—not retention.

HB180- School Data Collection and Class Goals carried by Rep. Larry Larrañaga (R), Rep. Bobby Gonzales (R) and Rep. Monica Youngblood (R) was also defeated in the House Education Committee. This bill is based on Think New Mexico’s “study” that suggested that we could solve our funding problems by rearranging school budgets and cutting administration. The bill and the study interferes with local autonomy and implied that we could solve our school funding problems without additional revenue.

HJR1- Land Grant Fund Distributions carried by Rep. Moe Maestas (D), Rep. Javier Gonzales (D) and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D) passed the Senate Education Committee today. This bill would allow voters to decide whether or not they want to use part of the Public School Permanent Fund to fund early childhood education in New Mexico.

In the meantime… AFT New Mexico is busy ensuring that raises beyond the minimums are equitable for all school employees, meaning our Support & Related folks as well as our teachers.

Keep engaged throughout the rest of the session. We’ll soon need to act on the budget (HB2) before the session is over!


8 Days Left! Your Action Stopped VAM from Becoming Law & Stopping More Bad Bills…

February 8, 2018

Update on HB177!

Thanks to the hundreds of educators who acted quickly against HB177 this morning, we sent an strong message to the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee: We stand together in opposition to imbedding the flawed evaluation system in law. Because of the overwhelming response, the Committee tabled this bill, meaning it is now dead!

Together, we defeated this bill. This is what union solidarity look like.

Tomorrow

HB210- School Academic & Reading Improvement Plans (aka Third Grade Retention) carried by Rep. Monica Youngblood (R) will be heard again in the House Education Committee. If you have not spoken out against it already, you still have time. Let’s kill this bill.

As a reminder, this is a zombie bill that keeps coming back to the Legislature. We know that retaining third graders is a punitive measure that has never been proven to support students. Students who are retained in third grade are more likely to drop out of school, only fueling the school-to-prison pipeline. Students need funded, quality intervention help—not retention.

HB310- Increase Certain Teacher Salaries carried by Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R), James E. Smith (R) and Sharon Clahchischilliage (R) will be heard tomorrow in the House Education Committee.

This bill is an underhanded attempt to render our AFT New Mexico Lawsuit against the evaluation system invalid by eliminating the words “highly objective uniform statewide standard of evaluation” from the current law. This would give PED free-range in deciding who advances in licensure and what criteria they need to advance. This bill would raise pay for first year teachers and nobody else and would make merit-pay a reoccurring line item.

Email the House Education Committee to speak out against BOTH of these bills.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D), stephanie.garciarichard@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Andres Romero (D), andres.romero@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R), alonzo.baldonado@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Jim Dines (R), jim.dines@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Jimmy Hall (R), jimmie.hall@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Rick Little (R), Ricklittleforrep@gmail.com
Rep. Dennis Roch (R), denroch@hotmail.com
Rep. Tomás Salazar (D), tomas.salazar@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Deborah Sariñana (D), debbie.sarinana@nmlegis.gov
Rep. James Smith (R), jim@jimsmithnm.com
Rep. Sheryl-Williams Stapleton (D), sheryl.stapleton@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Christine Trujillo (D), christine.trujillo@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Linda Trujillo (D), linda.trujillo@nmlegis.gov
Capitol Switchboard: 505-986-4300


9 Days Left: Divisive Teacher Licensure Bill, “Right-to-Work” Victory & 3rd Grade Retention… Again

February 7, 2018

HB210- School Academic & Reading Improvement Plans (aka Third Grade Retention) carried by Rep. Monica Youngblood (R) was rescheduled to be heard on Friday in the House Education Committee. If you have not spoken out against it already, you still have time. As a reminder, this is a zombie bill that keeps coming back to the Legislature. We know that retaining third graders is a punitive measure that has never been proven to support students. Students who are retained in third grade are more likely to drop out of school, only fueling the school-to-prison pipeline. Students need funded, quality intervention help—not retention.

SB179/HB169- Employee Preference Act (aka “Right to Work”) carried by Senator Stewart Ingle (R), Rep. Larry Scott (R), Rep. James Townsend (R), Rep. Greg Nibert (R), and Rep. Bob Wooley (R) was defeated in both the House and Senate! Say bye-bye to this harmful practice of busting unions, lowering wages and eroding security… until Legislators and corporate interests bring it back next session!

Tomorrow, February 8, 2018

HB177 Level 3 Teacher License and Salary carried by Reps. Rick Little (R) & David Adkins (R). This bill would create a “Level 4” Teacher Licensure that would pluck teachers out of the classroom and create quasi-administrative positions for them based on PED’s arbitrary evaluation system.

It’s critical that members act on this bill. Tell the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee to vote NO on HB177. Let them know that it’s divisive to pit educators against one another by giving special status and increased pay to some based on a flawed evaluation system.


House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee
Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon, Eliseo.alcon@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, pat.roybalcaballero@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Deborah Armstrong, Deborah.armstrong@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Bob Wooley, bobwooley66@gmail.com
Rep. Monica Youngblood, monica@mynmstaterep.com
Capitol Switchboard: 505-986-4300


10 Days Left: 3rd Grade Retention, Right to Work, Vouchers & Raises for Our Colleagues

TODAY, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

SB179- Employee Preference Act (aka “Right to Work”) carried by Senator Ingle (R) will be heard in the House Labor and Economic Development Committee… again. Versions of this bill have failed to pass in the New Mexico Legislature over the last seven years, however, we are taking nothing for granted. We know that “Right to Work” bills lower wages, erode security, and are a tool to bust unions.  SB 179 is the first of two RTW bills being heard this week in Santa Fe. HB 169 – identical to SB 179 – will be heard on Wednesday in House Labor and Economic Development Committee.

SB57- School District Personnel Salaries (aka Raise the minimum wage to $16/hr for classified employees)
 carried by Senator Ivey-Soto (D) will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee today. This would raise the minimum wage for our colleagues, (EA’s, secretaries, custodians, etc.) to $16 per hour starting in July of 2019 and then index that salary to increases in the Consumer Price Index. We know that classified staff are integral parts of every student’s educational success, and believe a full time employee shouldn’t make poverty wages. SB57 passed along party lines earlier this session in the Senate Education Committee, and will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee today.


TOMORROW, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

HB210- School Academic & Reading Improvement Plans (aka Third Grade Retention!)
 carried by Monica Youngblood (R) will be heard in House Education on Wednesday. This is a zombie bill that has kept coming back to the Legislature for seven, long years. We know that retaining third graders is a punitive measure that has never been proven to support students. Students who are retained in third grade are more likely to drop out of school, only fueling the school-to-prison pipeline. Students need funded, quality intervention help—not retention. Thanks to your union and your advocacy throughout the years, this bill has never passed. We need to make sure it never does!

HB240 & HB241-Conform Income Tax Act to Federal Changes (aka Tuition Tax Credits and Vouchers!) 
carried by Dennis Roch (R), Rebecca Dow (R) and Carl Trujillo (D). These bills were created under the guise of aligning NM State law with Federal tax exemptions for 529 plans, which allow tax breaks for families when saving for college. ATF agrees that all families that save for college should get tax exemptions, however, these particular companion bills include tuition tax credits for K-12 private schools (also known as vouchers!). As a state, we made a commitment to fund K-12 public education. This bill would only deepen the divide of inequity in our state by allowing folks who can afford to send their children to private K-12 institutions to evade paying more in taxes that are meant to support our public schools.

Take Action Today. Email/Call/Tweet the members of the House Education Committee! Ask them to vote NO on HB210School Academic & Reading Improvement Plans (aka Third Grade Retention!) and NO on HB240 & 241 Tuition Tax Credits and Vouchers. Tell them why you stand in opposition and why they should, too!

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D), stephanie.garciarichard@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Andres Romero (D), andres.romero@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R), alonzo.baldonado@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Jim Dines (R), jim.dines@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Jimmy Hall (R), jimmie.hall@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Rick Little (R), Ricklittleforrep@gmail.com
Rep. Dennis Roch (R), denroch@hotmail.com
Rep. Tomás Salazar (D), tomas.salazar@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Deborah Sariñana (D), debbie.sarinana@nmlegis.gov
Rep. James Smith (R), jim@jimsmithnm.com
Rep. Sheryl-Williams Stapleton (D), sheryl.stapleton@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Christine Trujillo (D), christine.trujillo@nmlegis.gov
Rep. Linda Trujillo (D), linda.trujillo@nmlegis.gov
Capitol Switchboard: 505-986-4300