HOUSE MEMORIAL 58
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Joy Garratt and Rebecca Dow and Christine Trujillo and
Natalie Figueroa and Raymundo Lara
REQUESTING THE PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND THE HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TO STUDY THE NUMBER OF ADULTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAUSE THERE IS NO UPPER AGE LIMIT FOR THE DEFINITION OF "SCHOOL-AGE PERSON" AND WHETHER THOSE ADULTS WOULD BE BETTER SERVED IN ADULT BASIC EDUCATION OR OTHER EQUIVALENCY PROGRAMS.
WHEREAS, the constitution of New Mexico provides for free public schools open to all children of school age, which means the requirement ends at the age of majority. Statutory provisions go further in two ways: Section 22-1-2 NMSA 1978 has no upper limit in the definition of "school-age person", and Section 22-1-4 NMSA 1978 allows anyone of any age who has not received a diploma or its equivalent to attend and also allows adults who have received a diploma or its equivalent to attend public schools if there is room in the classrooms; and
WHEREAS, there are approximately seven hundred adults attending public schools in this state, and they range in age from twenty-one to seventy; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of adult basic education, overseen by the higher education department and offered throughout the state, is to educate educationally disadvantaged adults; and
WHEREAS, there are also high school equivalency credential courses and tests for adults who want the equivalent of a high school diploma, and there is a bill in the legislature this session to have the public education department look at selecting one or more external diploma programs that will result in a department-issued state diploma; and
WHEREAS, attending adult basic education or other equivalency programs may be considered more appropriate for adults than going to school with children; and
WHEREAS, adults attending public school affect the funding formula, and money flows to adults rather than the children public schools are required to serve;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the public education department and the higher education department study the issues pertaining to adults attending public school and the availability and competence of adult basic education and other equivalency programs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the departments report their findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislative education study committee by December 1, 2019; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor and the secretaries of public education and higher education.
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