Revised New Mexico High School Graduation Requirements Head To House Floor
A bill that would make major changes to high school graduation requirements in New Mexico is heading to the House Floor after receiving a unanimous Do Pass recommendation from the Education Committee.
The bill, HB126, is the first since 2007 to make major changes to graduation requirements and has seen some controversy as it’s been working its way through the legislature.
While it is a bipartisan bill, being sponsored in the House by Democratic Education Committee chair Rep. Andres Romero and Republican Minority Floor Leader Ryan Lane, it has been criticized by members of both parties.
At issue is reducing the number of units or credit hours for graduation from 24 to 22 and dropping Algebra 2 as a requirement. School Boards or Charter Schools would be able to determine two required units on their own.
Lane says the changes would give more flexibility to districts and students.
“From my perspective that’s helpful because it allows a student to have more ownership over the types of classes that he or she wants to take instead of us at the state level saying from the top-down, these are ‘What Thou Shalt Take’ so it gives them more flexibility,” he said. “The other thing is removing Algebra 2. New Mexico is only one of 12 states that requires Algebra 2 so this is not like we’re breaking from the norm here.”
Many Superintendents, including Santa Fe’s Larry Chavez have come out in strong support of the changes.
But others question the wisdom of lowering the requirement to 22 and are opposed to not replacing Algebra 2 with a financial literacy requirement.