Friday, July 15, 2011

The Failure of Education in New Mexico

You have to love the fact that leading republican politicians speak so loudly about the important of a quality education for our children when they fail to show how much they value it. They said no cuts to the classrooms but no one stopped them from cutting the pay of teachers in this state. They forced educational employees to make up the difference between what the state pays less into their retirement fund and what employees are forced to pay into the educational retirement fund. All the while, they were spending huge sums of money protecting the people who mismanaged the fund in Santa Fe.

With $360 million in new money available to appropriate for programs and services when the Legislature meets in January to start work on the 2013 budget what do you think the chances are of educational pay cuts going away? Gee, bet they won’t be replacing any of the pay cuts those teachers and educational employees are experiencing right now. You can downright forget pay rises when it comes to educational employees in this state.

Let’s talk about the fact that leading political figures on both sides could care less about graduation rates in this state unless it helps them get reelected at the time. I personally invited a number of leading politicians to my last graduation and to no surprise not one showed up or even sent so much as a graduation gift. What an example to be sitting for the children and the college students of this state. Could anyone think of a louder message that graduation just does not count in this state?

Lip service is all that our state’s children will ever receive when it comes to the important of a good education in this state. Reform lacks the reality that change starts with the people who work in the classroom and that without the salaries, education, books and material needed that our state will always be last when it comes to the quality of education. When an educational employee adds another degree to their list of job qualifications, you would think that every politician in this state would want to acknowledge that achievement long and loudly. It is sad to say not so in our state. I proved one thing to myself. Politicians use educators to get elected but once in office they fail to live up to their promised potential. Regrettably, our children and young people are the ones who have to pay the price for their failure to support a quality education in this state.