Revenues collected by the state are used to pay for New Mexico’s public education systems. Unfortunately, the amount of revenues invested by lawmakers in K-12 schools, colleges, universities, students, and education employees has declined dramatically in the last decade. To implement New Mexico’s constitutional mandate to sufficiently fund world-class education systems, lawmakers shall pass legislation to restore revenue generators by:
- Repealing exemptions which allow private special interests to not pay their fair share of gross receipts taxes.
- Restoring 2003 state personal income tax rates on rich New Mexicans who net $250,000 or more.
- Closing New Mexico corporate tax loopholes which allow out-of-state businesses to not pay income taxes on profits made in the Land of Enchantment.
- Pay increases - Lawmakers shall pass emergency pay increases for education employees who are trying to recover from (5) years of no raises and education cuts.
- Retirement solvency - Lawmakers shall pass legislation which addresses the Educational Retirement Board (ERB) pension solvency issue by increasing member contributions to 10.7% for educators with a minimum retirement age of 55, and deferring COLA access to age 67 for future hires only. Classified educational employees who are paid by the hour and earn $20,000 or less shall continue to be exempt from ERB contribution increases.
Lawmakers shall pass legislation which provides a fair teacher evaluation system, one which focuses on improving student instruction, as well as student and teacher learning opportunities, and not an evaluation system based upon results of student tests.
World-class public education systems
In educational systems which are world-class, students learn the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. These skills include abilities to:
- Effectively listen and communicate.
- Work collaboratively.
- Think creatively.
- Be culturally aware.
- Incorporate higher order thinking skills.
- Solve complex problems.
Professionalism and respect
World-class education systems center upon the core value of respect. They recognize students as individuals, parents as active participants in their children’s learning, and public education employees as respected and trusted professionals.
Students as individuals
World-class education systems examine how students learn best, and they utilize professional, researched-based development programs which support educators’ efforts to provide effective instruction. World-class education systems also support the whole student by recognizing needs for health, nutrition, after-school care, transportation, and the right to safe educational environments.
Right to succeed
World-class education systems provide rich opportunities for students from birth through life. This includes early childhood education, a rich curriculum in K-12, including necessary interventions at every level, and vocational education. These systems also include affordable, quality higher education, as well as life-long learning opportunities.
In order to recruit and retain caring, competent, highly-qualified teachers and professional school support staff, and provide them with tools they need to be successful, AFT New Mexico strongly believes state lawmakers are required by constitutional mandate to provide sufficient funds for world-class public education systems from birth to career.
SAVE THE DATE: Occupy the Roundhouse, Feb. 18, Santa Fe