Senate Bill 148 (SB 148) creates in Public Education the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Excellence in Education. SB 148 requires the commission to develop a long-term plan to transform public education in New Mexico. SB 148 makes and appropriation.
SECTION 1. Adds a new section of the Public School Code:
COMMISSION ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION--MEMBERS--DUTIES--INTERIM AND FINAL REPORTS.
A. The Commission on Diversity, Equity and Excellence in Education (Commission) is created to address educational equity for students in the New Mexico educational system.
B. Six legislators shall be appointed to the Commission as specified in this subsection.
C. The secretaries of public education, early childhood education and care and workforce solutions or their designees shall serve on the Commission.
D. In addition to the members listed in Subsections B and C of this section, an additional 18 members who represent the diversity of the state shall be appointed from a variety of education and business backgrounds as specified in this subsection.
E. To the extent practicable, appointments shall be made to ensure regional representation and ethnic, economic and gender diversity on the Commission.
F. The governor, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate shall jointly appoint the chair of the Commission by unanimous agreement. If the chair is not appointed by July 1, 2021, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate shall make the appointment.
G. All appointments to the Commission shall be made within 30 days of the effective date of this section, and the Commission shall hold its first meeting by September 1, 2021. A vacancy on the commission may be filled by appointment by the appointing authority.
H. To carry out the duties of the Commission, and after consultation with other Commission members, the chair may appoint subcommittees and may appoint topical experts who are not members of the Commission to serve on those subcommittees. Noncommission members may vote on motions in the subcommittees but have no voting privileges on the Commission.
I. The Legislative Education Study Committee, the Legislative Finance Committee and the department shall provide staff for the Commission.
J. If funds are appropriated for the Commission, public members of the commission and its subcommittees are entitled to per diem and mileage pursuant to the Per Diem and Mileage Act and shall receive no other compensation. The commission may also pay for expert witnesses and other necessary expenses approved by the Commission.
K. The Commission is charged with developing a long-term plan with associated goals, action steps and accountability metrics for the legislature, the executive, school districts, public schools and colleges of education to narrow the achievement gap and opportunity gap and to ensure public education students are prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce. The long-term plan shall include short- and long-term implementation goals.
L. The Commission shall review the decision and order, the findings of fact and conclusions of law, the final judgment issued by the first judicial district court and pleadings filed after the February 2019 order in the Martinez and Yazzie v. State of New Mexico lawsuit; study high-performing education systems internationally, nationally and in New Mexico to learn best practices; and study how the department, school districts and public schools are using state and federal funding to close the achievement gap, address institutional racism and improve student learning for all students.
M. The Commission shall hear from plaintiffs of the Martinez and Yazzie v. New Mexico lawsuit, advocacy organizations, charter school representatives, nonprofit organizations that provide educational opportunities, the business community, educational experts, education advocates and the public.
N. The Commission may work with philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to accomplish its statutory purpose.
O. The Commission shall make findings and recommendations that:
(1)ensure equitable access to high-quality curriculum, instructional time, instruction and instructional resources to prepare all students for college, career and civic engagement;
(2) ensure a diverse, culturally competent educator workforce that is well prepared, stable and culturally and linguistically representative of public school students in the state;
(3) provide for culturally and linguistically relevant whole-child supports, including access to high-quality early childhood programs, trauma-informed teaching practices, wraparound services and supportive community partnerships, integrated social and emotional learning and improved parent and family engagement; and
(4) ensure effective coordination and collaboration among the multiple state agencies that affect students and their families; local school boards and charter school governing bodies; public schools; the Public Education Commission; tribal governments, tribally controlled schools and bureau of Indian education of the United States department of the interior schools; the business sector; and post-secondary educational institutions.
P. On or before September 1, 2022 and September 1 of each succeeding year, the Commission shall provide a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations to those specified in this subsection.
Q. On or before June 30, 2025, the Commission shall provide its final report to the governor and the legislature and shall present its findings and recommendations to the legislative education study committee and the legislative finance committee."
SECTION 2. COMMISSION FUND CREATED.--The Fund is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury consisting of appropriations, gifts, grants and donations. The Fund shall be administered and appropriated as specified in this Subsection.
SECTION 3. APPROPRIATION.—Appropriates $200,000 from the Public Education Reform Fund to the Commission for expenditure in Fiscal Years 2022 through 2025 as specified in SB 148. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of Fiscal Year 2025 shall revert to the Public Education Reform Fund.
SECTION 4. SUNSET.--The Commission is terminated July 1, 2025 pursuant to the provisions of the Sunset Act. The commission shall continue to operate until July 1, 2026.