School days for instruction, not for in-service

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By Ralph Damiani

We agree with those who say that of all things funded by the state and local governments, education is at the top of the list.There is little else more important than our children and helping to prepare them for the future. Boosting teacher pay is one way to work toward this end.But it is not the only way – as many like to say.More and more teacher pay in New Mexico has gone up and up. And more and more the performance of our students has gone down and down.Internationally, we are falling behind many countries in the production of an educated, literate society. This trend has to end.A couple of things that could help are to hold teachers accountable for their work and keep them in the classroom more.If you are a parent who throws up your arms in disbelief because it seems like your child is out of school more often than in school due to teacher in-service training days, relief could be on the way.Sen. Mark Boitano is introducing a bill in the current legislative session that would require professional development days to be taken outside of the students’ school year so they can have class time for the entire 180 days of instruction as required by law.Now, those days when there is no school and students are home, count.

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