New Mexico Senator David Gallegos, who represents Southeastern New Mexico, has announced that he is going to introduce a bill to put the decision-making power to re-open schools in the hands of local school boards. Representative Jim Townsend has said that the House plans to introduce similar legislation.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, a new statewide survey showed that 52 percent of New Mexicans believe local school officials should decide when to resume in-person learning. Additionally, 66 percent of those polled said schools should be open or offer a hybrid of in-person and online learning, while 71 percent said they are concerned about their children or grandchildren falling behind in school.
However, almost half of those surveyed also expressed concern that their children or grandchildren would contract COVID-19 and bring it back home.
Sen. Gay Kernan has also observed that many students in her district are attending schools in Texas due to their struggles with online learning.
Certainly, any plan to re-open should make sure that procedures are in place to protect educators, students and families at home from the spread of COVID-19, but we believe such plans have been implemented in other communities across the country. We hope New Mexico legislators will take a good look at plans to add in person instruction in the immediate future.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway