Last fall, Think New Mexico published “A Roadmap for Rethinking Public Education in New Mexico,” which proposed an extensive agenda of recommendations to improve New Mexico’s public schools. During the current legislative session, bills have been introduced on six of the issues identified in that report.

Optimizing learning time: Increasing learning time is one of the most effective strategies for improving student proficiency and closing achievement gaps. House Bill 130 and House Bill 194 both increase the minimum number of instructional hours from the current 990 for elementary school and 1,080 for middle and high school to 1,140 for all students.

House Bill 194 is the better option because it includes 80 hours of professional development and planning time for teachers in addition to the 1,140 hours.

Mandi Torrez is the education reform director at Think New Mexico.