New Mexico education secretary describes progress on reforms

New Mexico

 The Public Education Department says a program that adds five weeks to the elementary school year will expand to include at least 23,600 children this summer, far shy of goals outlined by state legislators.

Public Education Secretary Karen Trujillo gave state legislators a progress report Thursday on ambitious attempts to improve public school performance.

The Legislature and Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham have approved $500 million in new annual spending on public schools as a state district court threatens to intervene on behalf of frustrated parents and school districts. Architects of the reforms wanted 90,000 students in the extended elementary school year.

Trujillo said school districts had just six weeks to apply for the so-called K-5 Plus program. She expects the program will reach 70,000 students next year.

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