PoliticalNews.me - Mar 11,2017 - Heinrich: New Mexicans Must Be Heard On Public Education Plan
Senator Heinrich Sent Letter To Secretary Betsy DeVos To Extend Deadline For New Mexico Public Education Department’s State Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos requesting to extend the deadline for the New Mexico Public Education Department’s (NMPED) submission of its consolidated State plan in order to give the state sufficient time to evaluate and respond to public comments.
“These state education plans create the roadmap for education policy by setting accountability measures, identifying schools in need of improvement, and supporting educator development,” wrote Senator Heinrich. “That is why it is essential to hear from teachers, school leaders, parents, community leaders, civil rights leaders, and child advocates throughout the development of the plans.”
Senator Heinrich secured provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act, the overhaul of No Child Left Behind that was signed into law in 2015, to require states to have a comment period to ensure that their education plans are developed with parent, educator and stakeholder input. One of the major faults of No Child Left Behind was the lack of community input and engagement. Under the new law, NMPED must make its plan publicly available for a public comment period of no less than 30 days and demonstrate that comments were taken into account before submitting a final plan to the U.S. Department of Education. However, the current deadline only gives NMPED 48 hours after the public comment period closes to address the concerns and issues raised through public comment.
Senator Heinrich is also encouraging all New Mexicans to participate in New Mexico’s public comment period before it closes on March 31, 2017.
Full text of Senator Heinrich’s letter is below and a PDF is available here.
The Honorable Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202
Dear Secretary DeVos:
I write to respectfully request that you extend the deadline for the New Mexico Public Education Department’s (NMPED) submission of its consolidated State plan beyond the original April 3, 2017, deadline in order to give the state additional time to evaluate and respond to public comments.
On December 9, 2015, I was proud to vote for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) because it removed federal barriers to school improvement and maintained important civil rights guardrails. Further, multiple provisions were included in the law to ensure a wide range of stakeholders were consulted in the development and submission of a consolidated State plan. This consultation is essential in making sure the consolidated plan is workable for schools and districts in my state for years to come. These state education plans create the roadmap for education policy by setting accountability measures, identifying schools in need of improvement, and supporting educator development. That is why it is essential to hear from teachers, school leaders, parents, community leaders, civil rights leaders, and child advocates at multiple times throughout the development of