Gov.: Hispanic Education A Legislative Priority
SANTA FE-Governor Bill Richardson today announced his plans for a Hispanic Education Act while speaking at the New Mexico Hispanic Education Solutions Summit in Albuquerque.
“I want New Mexico to be the flagship state for leading the movement to close the achievement gap for our Hispanic students,” Governor Richardson said. “I’m ready, New Mexico is ready, and our future depends on it. To achieve this, I am calling on Education Secretary Veronica García to work with legislators to develop the nation’s first Hispanic Education Act here in New Mexico.”
Governor Richardson was joined by Juan Sepulveda, Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, who delivered the keynote address, and New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica C. García.
“Governor Richardson would like the Hispanic Education Act to be modeled after our nationally recognized Indian Education Act,” said Secretary García. “It will include language, culture, unity, community and parental involvement, accountability, and student outcomes or impact on students. I will make every effort to have the proposed legislation presented to the Legislators in January.”
Over 183,000 of New Mexico students are Hispanic. While Hispanic students have seen significant gains in recent years thanks to Governor Richardson’s educational initiatives, achievement and graduation gaps persist.
Governor Richardson has committed $9.4 million of the discretionary stabilization stimulus funds to a new initiative, Graduate New Mexico – It’s Everybody’s Business to increase student achievement and graduation rates. Today’s summit is part of that part of that initiative. It brought together students, teachers, parents, Hispanic leaders, community resource providers, community health workers, and spiritual leaders to develop bold solutions and strategies to address the achievement and graduation gap.
“Closing the achievement gap for Hispanic students is not only an economic issue, but it is a moral imperative,” Secretary García said. “Schools cannot do this alone. We need parents and community members as true partners. I believe working together it can be done.”
The summit was facilitated by the non-partisan public policy non-profit New Mexico First.
Office of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501