Lujan Grisham Nearing Creation Of Special Education Office
After having a bill to do so got stranded in the legislature, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is moving towards using an Executive Order to create an Office of Special Education.
House Bill 285 would have created the office within the Public Education Department. It was one of the Governor’s priorities going into this year’s session.
A substitute bill made it out of two House committees in March but never got to the floor for a vote.
Supporters have been hoping for Lujan Grisham to issue an Executive Order. New Education Secretary Arsenio Romero told the Legislative Education Study Committee he strongly supports the move, including hiring a Special Education Director.
“This would allows us to really bring it closer to me and have it higher on at a cabinet level type of position and it’s going to be something that I will able to keep being abreast of everything that is happening in that world so I can be responsive to that and also be able to be closer to the Governor,” he said. “That means I’ll be able to go in and ask for those additional resources when needed or changes whatever that may be. That will also allow me to be transparent with all of you too.”
In a statement, Lujan Grisham’s Press Secretary Caroline Sweeney told KSFR that the governor believes that creating an Office of Special Education is vital to delivering on promises we made to parents and students in New Mexico.
She added they are focused on recruiting and keeping special educators, and providing them with development opportunities so they can grow in their positions.
Sweeney says the Office of Special Education is one step in fixing a broken system that, for too long, has exhausted parents and left children behind. She says establishing the office through executive order means they can get started right away.
Sweeney says while it’s a top priority for the Governor, no timeline has been set for when the executive order will be issued.