SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Over the course of 60 days, New Mexico’s lawmakers debated a range of new laws that can have big impacts on education in the state. It can be hard to keep track of all the lawmaking actions, so here’s a recap of how lawmakers tackled educational issues in 2023. This doesn’t detail every bill, but it should give you the big picture.

Funding boosts

Lawmakers decided to put some of the state’s record-breaking revenue towards K-12 education. Investments in 2023 include over $310 million in expanded and focused learning time, more than $191 million in educational staff pay, and $122 million in student support and teacher prep, according to New Mexico’s Legislative Education Study Committee’s post-session review.

Added instructional hours

Lawmakers addressed what the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) calls a “long-standing policy issue.” That’s the fact that only a few schools across the state have taken advantage of an option for adding days to their school calendars.

But this year, lawmakers passed a bill to increase the number of required instructional hours. The new law basically adds an average of 10 days for students, the LESC says.

Graduation requirements . . . almost

After several years of research and discussions, lawmakers passed an “overhaul” of graduation requirements for New Mexico high schools. The changes were supposed to help give students more options that could help lead to college or a career and would have removed the requirement for Algebra II. But the idea was vetoed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.