One of the most remarkable things that sets this coalition apart is the diverse and bipartisan support we have among our signatories. To be honest, I don’t think the “me” of two years ago would have recognized this as a remarkable accomplishment. But with two years of working in education policy, I fully appreciate that it is no easy feat to get prominent leaders in education, business, and politics to agree.
For that reason, I can’t help but be excited during the legislative session when bills regarding expanding learning time go through that have support from Republicans as well as Democrats. Heck, maybe it’s not too late to convince my dad to join TSC! One such case is New Mexico, where a bill sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) breezed through a Senate Education Committee meeting yesterday. The bill would add 20 more days to the school year for all New Mexico public school students.
“I think this is the most important and boldest opportunity to change the way we educate kids immediately” Cervantes told Capital Report New Mexico.
The Senate Education Committee, composed of seven Democrats and six Republicans, gave the bill a unanimous do-pass, and it now moves on to the Senate Finance Committee. The cost of adding days to the school year to all New Mexico schools will undoubtedly play a factor in the bill’s final fate; nonetheless, what is most heartening to see is the bipartisan support for improving the way New Mexico students learn.
Whether this bill becomes law or stops in the Senate Finance Committee, the important take away is that the diverse support we continue to see for expanding learning time is only growing. Time has always been a constant in US education, and leaders are starting to realize what a silly concept that is for today’s learners. If we truly believe that today’s students are the future leaders of this country, bold changes to redesign the school day are not just good ideas, they are critical steps for improving education for a 21st century world. So Dad, if you are reading this, get on board!