SANTA FE ― Rep. Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo, Sandoval and Santa Fe) released the following statement after the House of Representatives failed to override Gov. Susana Martinez’s veto of House Bill 241:
“In her veto message, Gov. Martinez stated that she would be willing to consider changes to attendance measures as part of a comprehensive teacher evaluation system. Attendance measures account for just five percent of a teacher’s overall evaluation. House Bill 241 sought to address only the attendance component in teacher evaluations, and we respect Gov. Martinez’s request to take a comprehensive view of the evaluation structure.
“Teachers from every part of the state brought their concerns and ideas to us. They worked with several representatives on comprehensive evaluation reform measures this session. These teacher-led reforms would have addressed all components of the teacher evaluation by reducing the weight of the student achievement measure as well as increasing the number of days a teacher could take without being penalized on their evaluations.
“These are the changes that New Mexico teachers wanted, and only such a comprehensive approach would have provided real relief for them. The unions blocked these reforms, ignoring the wishes of the people they claim to represent.
“Decisions that affect our children should be made after much thought, deliberation and care. Overriding a veto is an extraordinary action, and it should be taken after all other efforts to resolve this matter have been exhausted. We are not yet at that point.
“House Bill 241 has brought attention to this issue, and we are confident that we can work with Gov. Martinez on a reasonable solution that promotes excellent instruction while supporting the needs of our teachers.”