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June 2024

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QISD Likely to Move to 180-day School Year

The Questa Independent School District (QISD) Board discussed a rule change from the state’s Public Education Department (PED), expressing dismay over the apparent lack of local control over public education, at the March 18 meeting.

The New Mexico PED is overhauling the state’s public schools with a new requirement of 180 instructional days, starting with the 2024-25 academic year.

According to QISD Superintendent John Maldonado, Questa schools will be able to stay on their current 150-day academic year if there is a 15 percent increase in test scores, but said that the goal set by the state is unrealistic.
Read more from the NM PED here:

One can find statements from state legislators claiming that this overhaul will improve local control over education, but school board members as well as teachers at the March board meeting expressed their discontent with the state.

The overhaul from PED is in response to a bill that passed through both houses of the NM Legislature this year, House Bill 171. It passed the NM House 57-1 and the NM Senate 40-0. It was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham on February 9.
Read NM HB 171 here:

The new 180-day calendar would force QISD into a 5-day school week, despite the district approving a 4-day school week last year, which was subsequently approved by the NM PED.
Read more about our coverage here: