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PRESS RELEASE
November 1, 2002
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SBE Gives Tentative Approval to 5.5% Teachers' Raise

(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Board of Education (SBE) today approved a draft legislative package that includes a 5.5 percent salary increase for all educational employees that will bring teachers' salaries to regional parity. It will take a final vote on the package on November 22.

"Through regional parity we will be able to attract high-quality teachers to New Mexico's schools. This issue is critical since the most powerful school factor in students' educational success is their teachers," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

The SBE also voted to give corrective action schools until the spring of 2004 to meet the requirements for an extension of school improvement or meet standards. If progress does not occur, the state superintendent will issue a notice of proposed suspension.

The SBE clarified in its accountability regulation that "in the case of local corrective action plans approved by the state superintendent with or without mandatory conditions, the school will have one full school year from the time of identification to meet the criteria for an extension of school improvement or to meet standards as a result of having implemented the corrective action plan."

In addition, the SBE:

· Approved the recommendation of the Educational Standards Commission (ESC) to change the rating for Esparanza Elementary with the Farmington Municipal Schools from probationary to meets standards.
· Initiated the process to change its regulation to allow the ESC to hear appeals on all data for schools that are rated as probationary for a second year and entering their first year of school improvement.
· Approved the administration of a criterion-referenced test (CRT) in Grades 4 and 8 and the norm-referenced test in grades 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 this spring in both English and Spanish. The SBE will decide in November whether to continue the administration of the TerraNova in Grades 4 and 8, in addition to the CRT.
· Took no action on the issue of junk food sales in the schools. The SBE's Finance, Transportation and Administration Committee asked that the New Mexico School Boards Association continue the discussion among its members.
· Authorized the staff to proceed with final input on changes to the state's graduation requirements, as part of the SBE's high school reform initiative.

The next regular meeting of the SBE will be held on November 20-22 at Mabry Hall in Santa Fe.