Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard is failing the students of New Mexico.
As the Chair of the House Education Committee, she has a duty to hear legislation that will improve student achievement in New Mexico. However, she isn’t doing that. She is dragging her feet, violating House Rules, and playing politics with our children’s future, all while asking New Mexico’s voters for a promotion.
House Rules stipulate that bills are to be heard in the order they were referred to a committee. But Garcia Richards thinks she’s above the rules. She is picking and choosing to hear only bills that are to her liking.
Rep. Gentry offered House Bill 22, which is a low cost, evidence-based, non-controversial way to improve our education system. But Garcia Richards won’t hear the bill despite its early filing – a clear and intentional violation of House Rule 9-11.
HB 22 requires schools to notify parents by text message if their student is absent. After seeing Garcia Richard had yet again failed to schedule a hearing for the bill, Rep. Gentry took to the House floor to ask why his bill was being buried.
“A 2017 study by Columbia University found that weekly text message alerts to parents about missed assignments, grades, and class absences reduced student course failures by 38%, increased class attendance by 17%, and improved district retention rates by two percentage points,” said Rep. Gentry. “Better still, adopting this policy would cost just a few dollars per student. It’s an easy, low cost way to deliver big results for our kids.”
These measures have worked in other states yet Rep. Garcia Richards is shamefully depriving New Mexico’s children of those potential benefits.
“Again and again, Democrats have sent the message that kids will take a back seat during this legislative session to partisan games and political stunts,” said RPNM Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi. “It is time for Chairwoman Garcia Richards to put New Mexico children before her own political aspirations and her party’s efforts to continually suppress educational system reforms to protect their union allies. I implore her to hear HB22 as soon as possible to give the bill the best chance of success in the Senate. Rest assured, if it dies in the Senate the blame will fall squarely on Representative Garcia Richards’ shoulders.