In today’s paper we are notified that Santa Fe and Rio Rancho schools will be abandoning any in-person learning for the time-being. We also know that this “forced-virtual” model is not working for a majority of students and that leading health bodies like the CDC have recommended in-person learning.
So, with so few school districts serving those who desire in-person education, what choice do parents have? Gov. MLG and the union-dominated political power structure of the State has been implacably opposed to helping parents and families as they face dire challenges in educating their children thanks to the pandemic and the shutdown of in-person teaching.
In fact, New Mexico sued the Trump Administration to stop ANY CARES Act funding from being directed to non-public schools, other states (including two of New Mexico’s neighbors) have found creative ways to directly help families impacted by the shutdown of in-person learning in many school districts.
- Oklahoma is providing $30 million from the CARES Act to support families impacted by the Virus-induced shutdowns. “These programs will allow for students and families of diverse backgrounds to access the quality resources they need in order to continue their education journey amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Stitt.
- Idaho has created a $50 million program using CARES Act dollars to spent on eligible educational materials, devices and services. Parents can apply for benefits totaling $1,500 per eligible student and a maximum award of $3,500 per family.
- Texas used $30 million to help special needs students whose families have been forced to deal with a difficult situation in the pandemic. Families of some students with disabilities may be eligible for $1,500 per child in aid to use toward services including tutoring, therapy and digital resources.
It would be great if New Mexico came up with something similar to these other states. Alas, you don’t get to 50th in education by making good decisions.