As a student, father, husband, son, current Master’s student, and former college professor and high school teacher, I sit at my keyboard and type this statement with tears in my eyes, and in a complete state of disbelief. Our Governor has chosen to balance the budget by cutting ALL funding to higher education in New Mexico. Yes, you read that right – now let it sink in a bit.
As a college student in 2000, I worked at Albuquerque High School, as a mentor for the Enlace program. My job was to track the success and mentor young predominantly minority, mostly Mexican-American students, as they advanced through their high school years and approached the possibility of college. We made them believe in themselves, and in the idea that higher education was not only possible but that they deserved access to it.
As a college graduate, I worked as an Educational Assistant at Gordon Bernell Charter School. Gordon Bernell Charter School operates within the confines of the Metropolitan Detention Center, and from a public campus downtown. Their student body is comprised of incarcerated adults, and previously incarcerated adults transitioning back into society. Again, our belief was in them, and the reality that when they’d paid their dues and “did their time,” they too were worthy of a college education.
Our Governor has made a decision, that not only minority students in the most difficult and challenging of life circumstances, nor individuals who have paid their debt to society – but EVERY student in our Albuquerque school systems, won’t have equal or ANY access to higher education.
It get’s “better,” which in this case, means worse. The reason for our Governor’s ridiculous decision – partisan politics. Citing a “lack of hearings for nominations of regents,” Martinez in effect has decided to “veto college!”
The vast majority of the money vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez came from vetoing all funding for New Mexico colleges and universities. She cited the Senate’s lack of hearings for nominations of regents for “several higher education institutions,” calling it “a clear violation of its constitutional duty.”
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Educators, parents and their children will now not only see the suffering continue in classrooms, as class sizes rise, instructional hours and collaborative professional development hours are reduced, and individuals who are considered “auxiliary staff” see their jobs become the victims of “reorganization” – it won’t end there.
There is now, no longer, a light at the end of the tunnel for a school system that sits in 49th place. Governor Martinez has decided to gamble with the livelihood and futures of New Mexico’s youth. Because, well, after all that standardized testing – and not getting left behind, who needs college anyway, right?
First, Call Governor Martinez and let her know she’s got it ALL WRONG.
Then, send a message to legislators asking them to come back to Santa Fe to override her petty vetoes, then go home. (direct link)