Actions: HPREF  HEC/HGEIC-HEC
Scheduled: Not Scheduled
House Bill 85 (HB 85) adds a new section of Public Schools providing for the redistricting of certain school districts. HB 85 Requires a redistricting plan and creates a task force. HB 85 requires the secretary of public education to issue a redistricting order. HB 85 also requires the appointment and elections of local school boards.Legislation Overview:
House Bill 85 (HB 85) adds a new section of Public Schools to provide for redistricting and related actions. SECTION 1 adds a new section of Public Schools Chapter 22, Article 4 NMSA 1978 addressing the creation, consolidation and annexation of school districts. The new material specifies that a school district with membership greater than 40,000 students shall prepare a redistricting plan as specified. The department shall notify a school district when the school district is required to prepare a redistricting plan, and the school district shall complete its plan within two years. The department shall appoint a task force as specified to assist the school district with its redistricting plan. If funding is available, members of the task force who are not local school board members or public employees are entitled to receive per diem and mileage pursuant to the provisions of the Per Diem and Mileage Act. The task force shall consider and report on 16 items specified in Subsection D. The report also shall include an analysis as specified in Subsection E. The department may contract for services with recognized experts in the areas of school district redistricting, public finance and taxation and other specialties the department determines are necessary for the study. The school district and the task force shall furnish the department with periodic progress reports and a final report. The reports are public documents, and the school district shall endeavor to inform the residents of the school district of their availability. The school district shall publish the final redistricting plan in a newspaper of general circulation in the school district, make copies of the plan available at every public school in the school district, at other school district sites and on an internet web page. The redistricting plan shall be submitted to the department, and the department and task force shall hold public hearings in the proposed school districts and take comments from the public. The department may accept the redistricting plan or require that the plan be amended. Upon acceptance of the redistricting plan, the secretary shall issue an order for the creation of the new school districts created in the redistricting plan, as amended if applicable. The order of the secretary shall contain the items specified in Subsection I. The department shall appoint five local school board members for each new school district who shall serve until the next regular local school board election provided for in the Local Election Act. The members of the new local school boards shall be elected at the next regular local election after the department orders the creation of the school districts. Members shall be elected initially for staggered terms as determined by lot drawn by the secretary and thereafter shall be elected to four-year terms. The rights and protections of employees provided by the policies and procedures of the existing school district shall be maintained upon completion of redistricting.