SENATE MEMORIAL 31
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
REQUESTING THAT REFORM OF NEW MEXICO'S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM INCLUDE LEARNING ABOUT ACEQUIAS AND LAND GRANTS AS PART OF A MULTICULTURAL AND EQUITABLE EDUCATION FOR DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATIONS IN NEW MEXICO.
WHEREAS, New Mexico is home to cultures and communities with diverse student populations that are deserving of an equitable, sufficient and meaningful education; and
WHEREAS, because of limited resources, schools are not able to integrate learning about cultural resources and assets in their own communities; and
WHEREAS, decades of inadequate resources for schools have resulted in racial, economic and educational disparities that rank among the worst in the country; and
WHEREAS, in a landmark decision, a court ruled in the Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico case that the state must take immediate steps to support students; and
WHEREAS, the decision also highlighted the need for multicultural and multilingual learning opportunities that respond to cultures, languages and heritages of diverse student populations; and
WHEREAS, acequias and land grants are vital parts of New Mexico's culture, history and social fabric and continue to be relevant in community development in rural communities throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, culturally relevant education in New Mexico should include the study of the historical development of acequia and land grant communities and the contemporary issues and challenges they face; and
WHEREAS, research shows that a multicultural and multilingual approach to education allows students to maintain their language and cultural identity, which contributes to their well-being and performance in school;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that education about acequias and land grants be part of a broader transformation of education in New Mexico to ensure sufficient and equitable education for diverse student populations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the public education department be requested to develop methods to integrate learning about acequias and land grants into the curriculum and that the higher education department be requested to train and develop educators for multicultural curriculum development; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the center for the education and study of diverse populations and the Ben Lujan leadership and public policy institute at New Mexico highlands university be requested to convene educators, community leaders and stakeholders to develop and provide recommendations to the public education department and higher education department on how to reshape New Mexico's educational system to include a culturally relevant curriculum that includes acequias and land grants; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the New Mexico acequia association, acequia commission, land grant council and New Mexico land grant consejo be requested to develop and provide recommendations to the public education department and higher education department for integration of acequias and land grants into multicultural curriculum development; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of public education, the secretary of higher education, the president of New Mexico highlands university, the chair of the acequia commission, the executive director of the New Mexico acequia association, the chair of the land grant council and the president of the New Mexico land grant consejo.