HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 7
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
A JOINT RESOLUTION
PROPOSING TO AMEND ARTICLE 12, SECTION 6 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW MEXICO TO REPLACE THE PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT WITH THE PUBLIC SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNDER THE DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF THE PUBLIC EDUCATION COMMISSION; LIMITING THE POWERS OF THE COMMISSION AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE SO AS NOT TO INFRINGE ON THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND GOVERNING BODIES OF CHARTER SCHOOLS; PROVIDING A TRANSITION.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. It is proposed to amend Article 12, Section 6 of the constitution of New Mexico to read:
"A. [There is hereby created a "public education department" and a] The "public education commission" [that shall have such powers and duties as provided by law. The department shall be a cabinet department headed by a secretary of public education who is a qualified, experienced educator who shall be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate] is created to administer public school law, including public school funding and functions relating to the distribution of school funds and financial accounting for the public schools, that does not infringe on the powers and duties of local school boards, school districts and governing bodies of charter schools.
B. The ten members of the public education commission shall be elected for staggered terms of four years as provided by law. Commission members shall be residents of the public education commission district from which they are elected. Change of residence of a commission member to a place outside the district from which [he] the member was elected shall automatically terminate the term of that member.
C. The governor shall fill vacancies on the commission by appointment of a resident from the district in which the vacancy occurs until the next regular election for membership on the commission.
[D. The secretary of public education shall have administrative and regulatory powers and duties, including all functions relating to the distribution of school funds and financial accounting for the public schools to be performed as provided by law.
E. The elected members of the 2003 state board of education shall constitute the public education commission, if this amendment is approved, until their terms expire and the districts from which the state board of education were elected shall constitute the state public education commission districts until changed by law.]
D. The "public school administrative office" is created as an executive agency to staff the commission and administer public school finance, school personnel licensure and other state laws that do not infringe on the powers and duties of local school boards, school districts and governing bodies of charter schools. The commission shall hire the director of the office, who shall be known as the "state superintendent of education". The state superintendent may hire professional and clerical staff sufficient to carry out the powers and duties of the office as provided by law.
E. The public education commissioners serving on January 1, 2025 shall continue to serve until their terms have expired. The secretary of public education shall serve as the state superintendent of education until replaced by the public education commission. The public education department shall become the public school administrative office.
F. Upon approval by the people of this amendment, the legislature shall provide for a thorough review of public school laws to identify those provisions that infringe on the powers and duties of local school boards, school districts and governing bodies of charter schools."
SECTION 2. The amendment proposed by this resolution shall be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the next general election or at any special election prior to that date that may be called for that purpose.
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