SANTA FE — New Mexico’s new Black Education Advisory Council will meet for the first time in December to review language in the Black Education Act and set priorities for advising the state on ways to improve academic and social outcomes for Black students.
Twenty-one individuals, including four students, have accepted seats on the 23-member council mandated by the legislation, which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law last spring.
The Public Education Department is accepting nominations for an additional required position, which must be filled by a charter school teacher with a background in serving and supporting Black students, said Vickie Bannerman, deputy secretary for identity and inclusion. The 23rd position, an additional community member, is optional.
The new council will meet 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Jerry Apodaca Building at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe or by virtual connection.
With the appointments, New Mexico now has four education advisory councils. The others are for Indian Education, Hispanic Education and Bilingual Multicultural Education.
The advisory council will advise the secretary, school districts and charter schools on ways to improve public school education for Black students, increase Black parent involvement and increase the number of Black high school graduates who succeed in college or in professional or vocational training.
The 2020 four-year graduation rate for Black students in New Mexico was 74 percent, 3 points below the state average and 7 points below the average for white students.
The department is now accepting applications for three full-time staff positions related to the Black Education Act: BEA liaison, BEA hotline manager and BEA curriculum coordinator. A fourth position — BEA professional development and training coordinator — will be posted soon.
More details about those positions are available on the State Personnel Office website.
The hotline manager will develop and monitor a reporting portal that will allow anyone to report racially charged incidents or racialized aggressions directly to the Public Education Department. The curriculum coordinator will create new or approve existing anti-racism training programs, which the law requires for all school personnel.
All of New Mexico’s 89 school districts and 98 charter schools have a Nov. 30 deadline to submit discipline policies and antiracism training plans to the Public Education Department.
Council Members And Positions They Fill:
Charter school administrators:
- Alexandra Boyd, The ASK Academy, Rio Rancho
- Romulous Charles, Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque
Traditional school administrators:
- Robert Sims Jr., Hobbs Elementary, Hobbs
- Patricia Grovey, Head Start, Hobbs
- Alicia Vasquez, Albuquerque
Charter school teacher:
Parents with currently enrolled students:
- Monique Matute-Chavarria, Las Cruces
- Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque
- Vernon Oliver, Rio Rancho
- Nancy Lopez, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Teacher Preparation Program:
- Pamela Gray, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
Higher Education Representative:
- Patricia Trujillo, deputy cabinet Secretary, NM Higher Education Department
- Kendall Ulmer, Rio Rancho
- Kennedy Ulmer, Rio Rancho
- Tamaya Oliver, Rio Rancho
State Office of African American Affairs:
- Chaslyn Wenze
Developmental Disability Council Representative:
- Stephanie Mack, Albuquerque
Other Community Representatives:
- Arlen Nelson, Albuquerque
- Timothy Nelson, Los Alamos
- Sandra Aaron, Corrales
- Camryn Bannerman, a student in Rio Rancho
- Sheryl F. Means, Albuquerque