Lawmakers must address injustices against Native Americans

Is the Yazzie/Martinez term your call, Governor?

The Yazzie / Martinez v. New Mexico State included 23 children from sovereign nations in the at-risk student community. The legal mandate of the executive and legislative branches was to fix an inadequate public school system.

Three years later, little has changed except for COVID-19-related school closures, government mandates and a less-performing education delivery system imposed on parents and guardians.

According to Forbes on Nov. 5, New Mexico was ranked 51st out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. Teachers’ unions, Department of Public Education bureaucrats, lobbyists, legislative committees, policy pundits, the docile electorate, and monopoly allies have established the worst state public school system in America.

Government has been the problem for 19 pueblos, three Apache tribes and the Navajo Nation since the Indian Act of 1876. Government has legislated to eradicate First Nations culture, including education.

Recently, education advocates produced a comprehensive education plan to meet the needs of Indigenous students: “Pathways to Education Sovereignty: Taking a Stand for Native Children” – December 2020.

The framework outlined the steps for redesigning education governance, funding, programs and services. It discusses the New Mexico Indian Education Act mandates and the Yazzie/Martinez court decision. Obvious analysis, the Tribal Alliance through Educational Change wants self-determination and cultural survival for all sovereign nations.

Kudos to State Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, (who) sponsored legislative solutions supporting Indigenous issues. The proposals’ cumulative credits exceeded $100 million and were ignored. The government’s systemic arrogance is endless.

The 2021 House Bill 6, State Equalization Guarantee Distributions Relating to Public School Funding, changed the public school funding formula, a small step regarding program funding mentioned in the ruling. of the district court judge.

Aggregate public school appropriations accounted for 46.2% of the total state budget, or nearly $3.3 billion in annual operational investment.

Since governors became responsible for public school finances and improvements (via a) constitutional amendment approved in 2003, three different governors have approved spending exceeding $45 billion in public funding.

These insufficient recurring and non-recurring funds in the General Appropriation Acts 2003-2021 for the educational services of public school students from K-12 have produced less than satisfactory results in terms of educational reform and program improvement. More importantly, our public schools have not significantly increased student achievement from year to year.

So how well does the Governor’s Department of Public Education deal with educational services for at-risk students? To date: three appointments to Secretary of Education in two years, a new post of Under Secretary for Identity, Equity and Transformation, a bloated bureaucratic department with 59 openings calling for 33 full-time staff additional to track the dollars, a 100-page document outlining strategies without details to correct systemic inequities, as well as 90-day action plans coming soon reported, and no real change.

No wonder New Mexico ranks 51st.

Throwing more money into the public school monopoly on embezzlement, malaise and mismanagement is a waste. But the sin is the 145-year-old attempt to eradicate First American culture.

It’s time to legislate on the Governor’s call this January budget session alone, one that offers our 23 sovereign nations absolute educational empowerment, a First Americans (and) New Mexico Act should reverse history by eradicating government control of education.

Nohemi M. Moore