Letter To The Editor: Centralized Education

Los Alamos

Every New Mexican of sound mind and body agrees that our schools need to be overhauled. The controversy is what parts need to be replaced or upgraded.

I propose that the current system of managing 129 separate school districts needs to be more centralized at the state level. Administrative functions, such as onboarding, payroll and employee benefits should be handled by the New Mexico Public Education Department in Santa Fe.

Also, local school boards with the exception of large school districts, should be eliminated. My reasoning is that each district has different methods of operation, which has caused schools to operate in their own private vacuum, creating a culture of tunnel vision and nepotism. This vacuum makes the fluidity of transferring from one district to another cumbersome for parents, students and educators.

Schools often have difficulty getting student records from another district, and those records are often formatted using a different system. For example: A special education teacher must often spend instructional time reentering data from another school. This time could be better spent teaching students.

Most egregious however, is how the individual districts handle employee benefits. If a teacher transfers from one district to another over the summer, he or she goes without health insurance from August to September – even though this teacher hasn’t technically left New Mexico Public Schools. If a main office handled the mechanics of human resources and centralized systems, then schools could focus on the task of educating children, and teachers could better communicate their intention to switch districts without fear of starting over.

Thank you.


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