PRESS RELEASE - September 8, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

SBE Seeks Public Comment on Local Board Training Rule

(Santa Fe, NM)--The New Mexico State Board of Education (SBE) is seeking public comment on a proposed amendment to SBE Rule 6.30.2 to require local board members to participate in five hours of annual training. HB 212, Public School Reform, signed into law in 2003, requires local board members to participate in mandatory training(s) and school districts to identify in their annual district accountability report any members who do not attend the training(s).

“The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) is working in conjunction with the New Mexico School Boards Association (NMSBA) to develop a training program to meet the requirements of the law. The goal is to schedule these training sessions in conjunction with regularly scheduled NMSBA conferences,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

Under the proposed amendment, newly elected or appointed local school board members in office for less than a year would receive three of the five hours from attending a training course developed by the SDE and sponsored by the NMSBA. The course would be offered no later than three months after a local school board election. The SDE would periodically announce the dates of the course(s) which would cover numerous topics including SDE policies and procedures, statutory powers and duties of local boards, legal concepts pertaining to public schools, finance and budgeting. For the additional two hours of annual training, these board members would attend sessions sponsored by the NMSBA and approved by the SDE. All existing local school board members would attend five hours of annual training sponsored by the NMSBA and approved by the SDE.

In order to be credited with attendance at these courses, each board member would be required to comply with written attendance procedures established by the SDE. Prior to September 1 of each year, the NMSBA would provide each local superintendent with a list of training hours earned annually by each local school board member.

Comments on the proposed amendment will be accepted through Friday, October 3, to Ruth Williams, Public Outreach Office, State Department of Education, Education Building, 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786. Comments may also be sent by email to rwilliams@ped.state.nm.us or by fax to 505-827-6588. A copy of the proposed rule change is available on the SDE’s web page at http://www.ped.state.nm.us/sbe.desktop/index.html.

The SBE will consider final action on the rule change at its October 8-10 meeting in Santa Fe.