Local Solidarity Greets ‘Keep the Promise’ Statewide Bus Tour Initiative

Los Alamos AFT President Ellen Mills, left, with AFT State President Stephanie Ly during Thursday’s Keep the Promise bus tour event. Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com 
Pinon Elementary School teacher Ryan Ross signs the Reclaim the Promise bus. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos Daily Post

Keep the Promise for New Mexico’s Future rolled into the Sullivan Field parking lot in Los Alamos Thursday afternoon as part of its Dec. 9-13 statewide bus tour. Keep the Promise is a coalition of organizations, educators, parents and students who want to see public education in New Mexico thrive. Coalition members have also connected with more than 10,000 people in telephone and in-person town hall meetings across the state.

Members of the public concerned about education were invited to sign the Reclaim the Promise bus. Los Alamos School Board member Kevin Honnell was one of those signing the bus in Los Alamos. “I’m with you,” he told members of Keep the Promise.

New Mexico President Stephanie Ly of the American Federation of Teachers was one of those touring with Keep the Promise. Ly told Honnell that while she supports Gov. Susana Martinez’s proposal to increase the salaries of beginning teachers by $3,000, all teachers deserve a raise.

“Parents around the state have been so excited to sign the bus,” Ly said. “They are thanking us for doing this. We are trying to keep the focus on what’s best for our kids.”

Students from Los Alamos High School sign the Reclaim the Promise bus Thursday. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

According to its literature, the goal of Keep the Promise is great neighborhood public schools that are safe and welcoming, are fully funded and have teachers who are well-prepared, are well-supported, and have manageable class sizes and time to collaborate. The group wants curriculum that focuses on teaching and learning, not testing, and that includes art, music and the sciences.

“We believe Los Alamos is very interested in education,” Ly said. “We want members of the Los Alamos community to sign on with us and we want to support communities in working on the specifics of what works for them.”

Ly applauded the recent efforts of Los Alamos Public Schools in drafting a letter to the New Mexico Secretary of Education outlining challenges facing the District and proposing solutions.

The Reclaim the Promise Bus tour continues on to Taos this morning and will culminate at noon today with a press conference in front of the Public Education Department’s offices in Santa Fe.