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New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

PRESS RELEASE

February 4, 2003

Education First Day, February 6, in Santa Fe, Focuses on K-12 Education Progress and Funding in New Mexico


(Santa Fe, NM)-New Mexico First will hold a news conference for Education First Day on February 6, 2003, at 11:00 a.m. at the state Capitol Rotunda in Santa Fe. The purposes of Education First Day are to celebrate the progress of education improvement in New Mexico and to keep legislators and the public informed and focused on recommendations from the New Mexico First Town Hall on Education. The 22nd Town Hall report states unequivocally that the state's public education system must be one of the highest priorities for the next five years.

Three groups-New Mexico First, the New Mexico Business Roundtable for Educational Excellence and The Teacher Education Accountability Council-are sponsoring the day's events. Speakers will include Tony Trujillo, chairman of New Mexico First, Michael J. Davis, state superintendent of Public Instruction, former Governor Garrey Carruthers, chairman of the business roundtable, and Elizabeth Jenkins, acting executive director of the Commission on Higher Education.

Events on February 6th will begin with a breakfast for all legislators at 7:00 a.m. at the Inn at Loretto. Other breakfast guests will include Lt. Governor Diane Denish, former Governor Carruthers, Trujillo, State Superintendent Davis and Jenkins.

"New Mexico First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy organization that Senators Domenici and Bingaman founded about 17 years ago," said Judy Zanotti, president of the group. "We hold two Town Halls each year where New Mexico citizens come together to find common ground on critical issues-like education-facing our state. These Town Hall meetings are usually for three days and result in reports with specific recommendations," she said. "And then our Implementation Team sets about to accomplish these recommendations, some of which we are now bringing before the legislators and the public with Education First Day."

The six educational focus areas to be presented to legislators include: (1) Student Success, (2) Quality Teaching, (3) Early Childhood Education, (4) Reasonable Accountability, (5) Early Literacy and Reading and (6) Adequate Resources.

For more information, contact Judy Zanotti at New Mexico First at (505) 241-4813.