BY KURT STEINHAUS
Los Alamos Public Schools
For those able to attend one of the info sessions Monday evening, thank you. We appreciate you 1) asking great questions, 2) being hard on the issues and easy on people and 3) talking with your children about the pros and cons. Here is a link to recordings from Monday May 3, 2021:
If you have not responded to the Parent Survey, no problem, it will remain open to complete or revise until Thursday May 6 at 5:00. We really want to hear your opinion and appreciate you taking time to respond. Thank you!
Since this can be a complicated issue, here is some additional background (based upon questions received) and an update.
Why are we talking about ELTP and K6+ at this time in the school year? Answer: Because the Legislature passed new legislation and a decision has to be made before we submit the 2021-22 budget to the School Board for approval and then to the PED. For people to be paid, we have to have an approved budget to start the next fiscal year on July 1, 2021. Here is some background:
- During Jan, Feb and March 2021, the New Mexico Legislature debated funding and improvements for PreK-12 education. Part of the debate included several bills about adding days to the school calendar. On this topic, the bill that finally passed was Senator Stewart’s Senate Bill 40 called K-5 Plus & Extended Learning at all Schools. Click here to see the bill analysis. You might find it interesting that for over half the session, it was proposed that ELTP and K-6+ would be required for all schools. That requirement was amended out of Senate Bill 40 during the last two weeks of the session. Legislative Updates were included in the Employee Newsletter throughout the 2021 Session; however, it was easy to miss because the ELTP and K6+ info was part of a summary of all proposed education bills.
- The Legislative Session ended on March 20th and then the Governor had 20 days to sign or veto legislation. On the last day allowed in law, Governor Michele Lujan Grisham signed the General Appropriations Act that included over $100 million for ELTP and K-6+.
- After the Governor’s signature, the PED took several weeks to send budget information to school districts. In fact – at 12:19am this morning, I received from PED a third revision to our 910B5 which provides a summary of the Funding Formula for LAPS. In addition, school districts were told yesterday that more guidance would be coming out next Tuesday. Not to worry, we are fast on our feet and can make adjustments, as needed (Our growth mindset in action).
Does LAPS have ELTP and K-6+ this school year?
- Yes, the state ELTP program is paying LAPS teachers this year for Saturday school that is offered K-12
- Yes, LAPS offered K-6+ for all elementary schools in Los Alamos for 15 additional days
- Only 17 school districts are participating this year in ELTP or K-6+. The PED approval for our innovative and unique approach took many weeks of justification and fighting for what is best for our students.
Will this be the calendar change for next year only or going forward will we continue to have these additional days?
- The current legislative intent is for this to continue in future years