Letter To The Editor: What Is The State Doing To Its Teachers?

By MARIE CHIRAVALLE
Los Alamos
 
What is the State doing to its teachers?
 
The New Mexico State Secretary of Education, Hanna Skandera, has ideas in dealing with educators that go from bad to worst. Her latest announcement, “retroactive to July 1, any teacher taking more than a three day leave will be penalized a point a day,” is a poorly conceived approach for an attendance policy.
 
Instead of demoralizing the teachers with punishment for taking more than a three day leave, to which there are legitimate reasons for doing so, Ms. Skandera should be doing everything she can to increase the teacher workforce not discourage it.
 
New Mexico is already at the bottom of national rankings in education, is spending less per student in grades K-12 than before the 2008 recession and is in dire need of certified teachers.
 
The conditions under which educators perform in this state include: ostracized attitudes from the state toward educators, a continual cut in funding for education, low yearly salaries as compared to national levels, a workforce with a low morale, a questionable teacher evaluation system and now punishment for a teacher taking more than a three day leave — is this the state plan for improving education and attracting certified educators?
 
Unfortunately this is what happens when bureaucracy takes over and starts making decisions without having a clear understanding of educators and education.
 
We need more representatives like Stephanie Garcia Richards for the Roundhouse that will support our educators and educational system; she has first hand experience in a classroom and personal knowledge of educational needs.
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