Saturday, January 22, 2011

"We The People".......are watching them

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 was the opening day of the current session of the New Mexico State Legislature.

John and I were there with tea party patriots from Santa Fe and around the state to let the legislators know that we are going to be watching them in the upcoming session....and that we want some basic things ... cutting spending, getting the state out of our $500 million deficit, fighting corruption, enacting laws to curtail voter fraud in the state, making New Mexico business friendly again.

It was a cold day, made more chilling by the always-present wind on the west side of the Roundhouse. But the crowd was enthusiastic and hopeful, and it was another successful tea party.

Young descendent of Patrick Henry reading his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech:

Marita Noon of CARE (Citizen's Alliance for Responsible Energy):

Todd Hathorne, activist for reducing voter fraud:

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson:

Radio guys Bob and Bob from Ruidoso:

Tea Party tables inside the Roundhouse:


Jenny said...
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Jenny said...

One of the main issues I'm watching is Senate Bill 80. It wants districts that are under 1,000 students to find another district to consolidate with. This would mean well over half the school districts in New Mexico would be shut down, including three of the four districts we have in Roosevelt County (Floyd, Elida and Dora would have to all consolidate with Portales). So basically, shut down all the rural schools in the state.

So obviously, keeping my fingers crossed that this bill is killed quickly.

Brigette Russell said...

Jenny, SB 80 doesn't propose consolidating SCHOOLS, just school DISTRICTS. That means a small district with one high school keeps its high school and elementary schools, but no longer has its own superintendant (and his/her high salary) and all the bureaucrats that go along with a school district. A superintendant can easily administer two or three small rural high schools and grammar schools from a distance (how much of our modern communication is done by email and phone anyway?) with periodic drives to visit the individual schools.

Though I'm a Republican and Sen. Fischmann is a Democrat, I've been impressed with the common sense of quite a bit of his proposed legislation. SB 80 isn't about closing down schools; it's about streamlining administrative duplication, and aren't we ALL (unless you're one of the bureaucrats about to lose a job) in favor of that?

Text of SB 80 is available here, so you can see for yourself:

Jenny said...

First of all, I'm all for streamlining. But I'm also about tradition. My children are 3rd generation at our school, and I DO NOT want them going to town for their education. I'm not a bureaucrat, just a parent to four kids, a substitute teacher and a coach. Oh, and I am a Republican.

Floyd, Dora, and Elida (the three rural schools in Roosevelt County) are all multiple schools housed in ONE building. Each has one elementary school, one middle, and one high school all housed together. There is one classroom per grade. Total kids preK thru 12 for Floyd is 250. When I mean together, I mean the elementary has to walk thru the high school hall to get to music class. The 7th and 8th graders have lockers in the high school halls. We have one superintendent (who really isn't overpaid for all he does and has no administrative assistants nor his own secretary. His office is in the main office next to the pricipal) and a 5 member school board (one of which is my husband, who is paid nothing and volunteers a heck of a lot of time). There are two principals (one for elementary, one for middle and high). This is the kind of rural schools that are affected by this bill. Melrose and Grady are the ones in Curry county that are just like ours, too.

The rural schools you are talking about do not exist in Roosevelt County. I don't know where they are, but I just don't want to see the schools in my county shut down. I encourage you and Sen. Fischmann to visit our rural schools and see what is proposed to be shut down. Because whoever proposed this bill hasn't seen us.

Towanda said...

Ladies ... great discussion. I am not an expert on education at all, in fact quite the contrary, but I surely respect those of you for whom your children's education is a huge and important priority.

Let me just say this. I went to a rural school district in New York state from kindergarten all the way through high school. The structure of it and the building layout (all grades from K-12 in one building), the administrative structure - all of it - it was almost identical to the school in Floyd.

I thank God for rural schools like the one I went to and the one your kids go to, Jenny. They are the glue that binds rural communities together, along with the churches and the fire department and maybe the grange in some parts of the country. Without a strong local school district, I fear what might happen to our rural communities, and as a result our states as well.

I hope the legislature will seriously take into consideration the importance of preserving and strengthening our rural schools, and concentrate on what I see as the real waste - the bloated administrations of the large school districts in the cities.