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Let's talk about the amount of time kids spend in school

Olivier Bacquet

Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/9 8am: The New Mexico Public Education Department recently mandated that all public and charter schools operate for 180 instructional days, which all but requires a 5 day school week. This new rule stems from legislation passed in 2023that requires all schools to give students 1,140 instructional hours. Many teachers opposed it because of already heavy workloads and increasing burnout in the profession.

Now Superintendent’s from 60% of the state’s school districts are pushing back with a lawsuit against the state citing several key issues like funding, transportation, and questioning the efficacy of kids remaining in school longer. These challenges become more acute for rural school districts since many follow a four day school week.

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll discuss whether the state is overreaching their authority or working to fulfill their duty to provide students with a sufficient education. Are you a teacher or parent? Do you think keeping students in school longer will impact our low education rankings? If not, what would help? Share your experience by emailing letstalk@kunm.org, leaving a voice message by clicking the button below, or by calling (505) 277-5866 Thursday morning at 8.

Additional reading:
Reading, writing, ’rithmetic and ranching: Why rural New Mexico wants to keep the four-day school week - Searchlight New Mexico

Judge halts controversial requirement for 180-day school year- CityDesk ABQ

The rise of the four-day school week - Planet Money

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Taylor is a reporter with our Poverty and Public Health project. She is a lover of books and a proud dog mom. She's been published in Albuquerque The Magazine several times and enjoys writing about politics and travel.
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