Republicans in New Mexico’s House of Representatives claim to put kids first but their actions show differently.
Take Rep. Kelly Fajardo for example. Already during this legislative session she’s joined her fellow Republicans on multiple party-line votes against New Mexico’s schoolchildren.
In a committee vote this week Fajardo voted against investing in early childhood education for New Mexico’s kids. With that vote, she stood against 66% of New Mexicans who support expanding early childhood services with our state’s permanent fund.
Democratic Representative Javier Martinez had this to say about the vote:
“It is especially troubling that members of this committee that represent some of the most impoverished areas in New Mexico refused to allow the voters of New Mexico to decide whether to use their money and invest it in their children. Every child deserves a quality education, regardless of how much money their parents make or their zip code.”
(Read more about how the vote happened and how the idea is still alive in the Senate by clicking here.)
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Rep. Fajardo has taken another major vote against New Mexico’s kids this session.
Last week, Rep. Fajardo voted with every other Republican member for HB 67 — a bill that would take away a parent’s ability to have a voice in their child’s education and would make the Public Education Department the sole decision maker as to whether a child will be flunked. This is know as the “mandatory flunking bill.”
Democratic Whip Sheryl Williams-Stapleton didn’t mince words when talking about House Republicans passing this horrible policy:
“The Mandatory Flunking bill is based on a standardized test score; the test decides whether or not a third grader is flunked. Not only does the Mandatory Flunking bill take away a parent’s right to have a say if their child is flunked, but it also takes away a teacher’s ability to have a say – it is all based on a test. States are taking steps back from this harmful policy because it does not work. New Mexico is already 50th in child well-being; we should be investing in intervention programs that are proven to work – not investing in mandatory flunking policies that are harmful to children.”
Rep. Fajardo claims to put people over politics but so far this session the only people she seems interested in helping are her fellow Republicans and their failed policy ideas.
Let’s hope voters in November remember what their representatives did for them this year in Santa Fe.
That shouldn’t be too hard, because it hasn’t been much.
The best defense against these attacks on our kids and working families in the future is to change the composition of your state legislature.
We need to make our lawmakers more accountable to the people. And ProgressNow NM is working tirelessly everyday to make sure that happens.
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