Santa Fe, NM – Representative Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21), chair of the House Education Committee, introduced House Bill 460 on Thursday to the New Mexico House of Representatives. HB 460 specifies that schools cannot outsource management and administration to private corporations, keeping funding designated for New Mexico's public schools within the public school system. In addition to prohibiting the outsourcing of educational programs to private firms, the bill also closes a loophole that currently allows non-New Mexicans to open charter schools in New Mexico.

“Allocating public-school funding to for-profit private companies is a step in the wrong direction for New Mexico educational policy,” said Representative Stewart. “Public school funding should not flow to for-profit firms, which do not have the best interests of New Mexico's students at heart. We need to work to ensure that school funding is spent well and wisely.”

Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17) stands with Representative Stewart on the bill. He adds, “In these times of tight education funding and the shortage of jobs, we need to ensure that every dollar stays with our kids and doesn't get siphoned out of state.”

By keeping money designated to educate students from being spent on private contractors, HB 460 safeguards the efficiency and autonomy of New Mexico schools. Retaining control of the way educational funds are spent is essential to avoid wasteful spending on educational programs administered by private out-of-state companies and ensure the bright future of New Mexico's students.

Representative Stewart and Senator Keller will be joined by members of the Albuquerque Interfaith Coalition for a press conference to discuss HB 460 on Tuesday, February 12th at 10:30am in Room 324 at the Roundhouse.

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The Grant County Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

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The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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