Capitol Report – February 3, 2020

Capitol Report – February 3, 2020


A measure that would give tribes in New Mexico more control over education initiatives in their communities unanimously cleared advanced a State House Committee last week.

Tom Trowbridge reports from the Roundhouse:

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Democratic Representative Derrick Lente has introduced bills this session to provide funding to address the Yazzie-Martinez versus New Mexico lawsuit. The landmark ruling in 2018 found that New Mexico is failing some of its most vulnerable students. The House Education Committee last week approved one of Lente’s bills, House Bill 138. It would provide 500-thousand dollars for the Navajo Nation; 250-thousand dollars each for the Mescalero Apache Nation and Jicarilla Apache Nation; and 150-thousand dollars each for the state’s 19 pueblos. The funds would be devoted to develop and staff culturally and linguistically relevant after-school and summer programs at tribal libraries. Lente, who’s from Sandia Pueblo, spoke of the tribal input behind his proposal.

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Representative Rebecca Dow criticized previous approaches New Mexico has taken toward education in tribal communities, calling them a one-size-fits-all, statewide approach” that she finds frustrating. The Truth or Consequences Republican praised Lente for working to return control of education of Native students to their tribal communities.

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For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Tom Trowbridge

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