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Judge puts five-day school week rule from the Public Education Department on hold



NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As New Mexico works to enforce a minimum 180-day school year for all public schools, a judge decided that the rule would be put on hold from taking effect.

The lawsuit at the center of the court battle was brought by the New Mexico School Superintendents Association. That group in part believes the PED’s new school year rules will put a burden on families and teachers, especially in rural areas with four-day school weeks.

PED said their new rules have academic benchmarks that allow for the continuation of four-day school weeks, like if the school has an overall reading proficiency level of 80% or more. However, those behind the lawsuit claim the rules aren’t realistic for most districts and could cost millions of extra dollars to enact.

“In your review of statutes, legislative authority, budgeting requirements have you seen where the legislature has appropriated any additional funds for this extended calendar,” asked New Mexico School Superintendent’s Association Attorney Andrew Curtis.

“I have not seen any additional funds for this extended calendar,” answered New Mexico School Superintendent’s Association Executive Director Stan Rounds.

After the hearing, Judge Dustin Hunter granted the injunction against the new mandate. Judge Hunter said it may ultimately be up to the legislature to create and enforce the controversial mandate.

The state is hoping to put the new 180-day school year rules in place by this fall. Monday’s decision prevents the rule from going into effect until a final decision is made on whether its legal.



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