The Council supports two very important pieces of legislation in the 2021 session. Links are provided to check their progress through the committee and chambers. Support from constituents and groups at hearings and before floor votes will be a tremendous help.

HB 138

This bill will not increase education funding, but will redirect money to restore the FAEA formula that was inadvertently impacted by prior legislation.

HB 130

With principles of equity guiding our actions, the New Mexico Advisory Council for Arts Education needs to know just where the inequities are, so we can help to do something about them. Who does have access and participates in quality arts education opportunities, and who doesn’t, and what disparities in outcomes result? We aim for all of New Mexico’s diverse public school students with artistic gifts to develop their outstanding potential in art, music, theater, dance, and media, and we support House Bill 130 for it’s essential role in improving arts education equity.

Sponsored by Representative Christine Trujillo, the bill, titled School Gifted Education Requirements, begins to repair educational disparities called out by the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit. It expands the definition of gifted students to include those gifted in the arts. Requirements for school districts and charter schools include monitoring their use of gifted funding, reporting their progress toward more equitable identification racially, ethnically, socioeconomically, and linguistically, and administering practices of identification resulting in the inclusion of many high-ability students currently missing from gifted education across the state: Native American, Black, and Hispanic students, low-income students, English learners, and those who also have disabilities. House Bill 130 is a leap forward in arts education equity in New Mexico.