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AFT NM and Early Educators United to Hold Community Meetings Across State on Early Education State Legislators, Parents, Community Invited

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—In its continuing effort to help reverse New Mexico’s dismal last-place national ranking for child well-being, AFT New Mexico and Early Educators United are holding five community meetings throughout the state on Saturday to focus on the need for greater investment in high-quality early childhood education. State legislators, educators, parents and other community members from each region have been invited. 
 
Following the community meetings, early childhood educators will receive the newest training on child brain development, called Mind in the Making.
 
“Education is like new home construction—its ultimate success depends on the quality of the foundation. Our state needs to adequately invest in our youngest children so we do not continue to show up in last-place child well-being rankings and we improve student outcomes,” said AFT New Mexico President Stephanie Ly. “We can and should do better. This requires New Mexico’s investment to expand access to quality and affordable early childhood education.”

The Loss of a Superhero, Rep. Stephen Easley

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Today’s loss of Representative Stephen Easley is a tragedy for our State and New Mexico’s children. The people and the State of New Mexico have lost a champion, an advocate and a man who was devoted

 to fighting for New Mexico’s children and families.

Before beginning his time in Santa Fe Rep. Easely welcomed kids, parents and early educators with open arms and promised to fight for the kids in his district. Once he arrived in Santa Fe he did just that, openly voicing his opinion that kids across New Mexico deserve the right to succeed. He was a proud member of The League of Extraordinary Legislators, a true superhero.

He was true champion, he knew the local early educators and kids in his community, and fought hard improve the lives of those he represented. His warming presence and beautiful bolo ties will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family. 

 

-Early Educators United

 

Albuquerque Training

Members of Early Educators United will be hosting training this weekend!

When: Saturday July 27th 9am – 3:30pm

Where: Early Educators United Office, AFT – NM 530 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque 87108

Hours: 6 hours of TTAPs approved training

Fee: FREE for members of Early Educators United, $24 for non-members

Lunch: Bring your lunch or $10

RSVP: 505-359-0658

The trainings will include:

Advocacy in Early Learning – This workshop is an opportunity to gain the tools necessary for your voice to make a difference. You are the providers – teaching and caring for children is what you do every day. You know better than anyone what needs to be done! Let your voice be heard and your actions count! Learn about the collective power you and your colleagues possess and how to use that power to make the changes needed in the field of early learning.

Focus and Self Control - In a world filled with distractions and information overload children need the skills of Focus and Self Control. So do adults. In this training we address Focus and Self Control from a Child's viewpoint as well as an Adult's viewpoint. This training is based on Mind in the Making, the newest research around child development.

Perspective Taking - Perspective Taking is seeing things as others would see them. It goes far beyond empathy. It involves figuring out what others think and feel, and forms the basis for children’s understanding of their parents', teachers' and friends' intentions. Children who can take others' perspective are much less likely to get involved in conflicts. This training is based on Mind in the Making, the newest research around child development.

Release the Hostage!

It is coming down to the wire and the Early Education Constitutional Amendments (HJR13 and SJR3) are still being held hostage in the Senate Finance Committee. Your call will urge a hearing for HJR13 and SJR3. Take one minute to call Senator John Arthur Smith and ask him to release the hostages now!

Here's what you can say when you call:


"Hello, may I please speak with Senator Smith? My name is _______ and I am an early educator. I'm calling to ask that Senator Smith have a hearing for the Early Education Constitutional Amendment HJR13 and SJR3 in the Senate Finance Committee. This is important for our children and our community. Thank you.”

Senator Smith can be reached in Santa Fe at (505) 986-4365.

New Mexico will be the leader in Early Education with this historic bill, lets come together and make it happen!

Victory is around the corner... Almost

When legislators have courage, kids win. In just 8 days, legislators will help decide the fate for over 30,000 kids and our future economy and education system in New Mexico.

The Early Educational Constitutional Amendment has passed 5 committees and is headed to the house floor tomorrow! After that it will be up to your Senator to vote yes and pass it on to the voters!

The Early Education Constitutional Amendment resolution – an historic proposal for a constitutional change – would give voters the choice in the 2014 election to increase funding for early education and stop cuts to Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Contact your State Senator now to tell them to acknowledge the right of New Mexican voters to Vote on this common sense proposal to invest in our Kids.

The Early Education Amendment would raise 2 billion dollars over 10 years for early education in New Mexico. And amazingly it does this WITHOUT raising taxes by taking advantage of our unique Permanent School Fund revenues that are collected from oil, gas, land and stock market revenue.

Write your Senator Now and tell them to Vote Yes on the Early Education Amendment.

The evidence is clear. 80% of Voters support their right to vote on this constitutional amendment, yet State Senators may never take a stand because of outside corporate interests that would rather keep the money in the Stock Market instead of investing in our kids. Write your Senator and tell them not take away the Voters’ Right to Vote on the Early Education Amendment (Link the whole sentence).

What if the early education amendment doesn’t pass? Not passing the amendment means:

 

Over 6,000 children will continue to be denied early childhood education
Quality early childhood education which has been proven to improve kindergarten preparedness and life-long learning like reading skills and high school graduation rates will be continue to be absent
Early learning centers will continue to close. (Over 10% of centers have closed over the last two years.).
K-12 education will lose $50 million dollars every year

 

Write to your Senator today and tell them to Vote Yes for the Early Education Amendment.

To learn more about the Early Education Amendment go to the Early Educators United website and go to our coalition with parents and owners of early learning centers Facebook page 
  

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Kids in Capes Lobby Day with Superhero Rep. Mimi Steward

Who's standing up for Early Education?

 

Your Education Superheroes have been hard at work in Santa Fe fighting for you!


The Constitutional Amendment:

The early education constitutional amendment allows for an increase of investment in early education by roughly $150 million dollars a year. The constitutional amendment states that the money can be used to "implement and maintain educational programs as provided by law." According to the Legislative Council in Santa Fe this means that the money will be available to private centers for CYFD subsidies, home visiting programs, pre-k programs and other early education programs. To find a copy of the legislation click here.


Community Allies:

This week a press conference was held with the business community who stood up in support of your constitutional amendment.

An op-ed came out in the Albuquerque Journal with the founder of the business round table Julian Garza strongly supporting investing in early education.

Garza says, “Investing a small portion of the Land Grant Permanent Fund in early learning is a smart, fiscally sound option to support our children, improve our schools and build our economy for the future. But most important, it’s the right thing to do for our kids."


Join your Superheroes in Santa Fe:

Monday February 25th is the Early Education Day of Action in Santa Fe, with members from across the state talking to legislators about making the right choice and supporting early education.

To find out more about how to get involved click here!

Be sure to stay updated by following us on facebook and stay tuned next week we will begin to unveil the League of Extraordinary Legislators.

Tell the Governor that new dollars must go to Early Education Centers!

 

New Mexico has been awarded $25 million from the US Department of Education to improve early childhood education throughout our state.

The question is how will they use this money?

Each individual state has the opportunity to decide how the money will be spent. Here in New Mexico there is already talk that this money will go towards standardized testing and not towards funding early education centers. 

New Mexico's kids deserve better. Take action and sign our petition asking legislators to be a hero for early education.

Ask Governor Martinez and the state legislature to use these new dollars to:

  1. Increase the subsidy market rate for centers
  2. Increase parent eligibility and fund those children who have been placed on the waiting list

Sign the petition and have your voice heard.

Also, save the date for the February 25th Early Education Rally in Santa Fe during the 2013 Legislative Session. This is your opportunity to meet with legislators and remind them what's best for New Mexico. 

To find out more information about the latest in early education in New Mexico like us on facebook.

- Early Educators United

"Quality education starts with us"

Early Education Superhero's Unveiled!

 

Early Education Superhero’s Unveiled

ALBUQUERQUE - New Mexico Early Educators United released their first ever political endorsements and unveiled their Early Education Superhero’s for the 2012 General Election. Superhero’s include candidates for both the New Mexico State House and State Senate and were made by Early Educators United’s Political Action Committee.

Superhero’s were selected by bipartisan statewide membership based on the candidates knowledge and views of early childhood education, including their support for the Early Learning Constitutional Amendment and their willingness to fight for adequate funding for quality, accessible, and affordable early childhood education for all children in New Mexico.

Early Educators United supports and represents privately owned and non-profit early childhood education centers throughout New Mexico whose priority is education and development of children ages 0 – 5.

 “These candidates are dedicated and committed to fighting for quality, affordability, and accessibility for early childhood education in New Mexico, that’s why we named them our Early Education Superhero’s” reports Joan Baker, co-chair of the Political Action Committee and owner of My Happy Place.

Mind in the Making - Albuquerque

 

 
This 45 hour equivalency course is Free for members of Early Educators United and $45 materials fee for non-members.
 
The course in Albuquerque will take place every Monday starting October 1st and run through December 17th. The course will take place at the Early Educators United office located at 530 Jefferson St. NE 87108. 
 
To register for the course you can complete the registration form and mail it to us at 530 Jefferson St. NE Albuquerque, NM 87108, drop it off at the office, email it to nmearlyeducatorsunited@gmail.com or call Lindsay Theo at 505-948-1492. If you are not a member you can make a check or money order for $45 to AFT. 
 
 
 
Spots for both the 45 hour equivalency and the convention are filling up fast so make sure you register soon!
 
You can also follow us on facebook to keep up with all the latest early childhood education information.
 
- Early Educators United 
 
"Quality Education Starts with Us."

 

July 2012 Announcements and Updates

 

 

July 2012

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Committee on the Future

The Committee on the Future met on Saturday July 14th in Albuquerque creating a plan for  fundamentally changing early education in New Mexico. 

FOCUS, CYFD’s Revised AIM High

Have you heard about the new STARs program FOCUS? CYFD is no longer going to be using AIM High, instead they will be phasing in FOCUS, a new program using The Authentic Child Assessment Process and Early Learning Guidelines.

Some of the proposed guidelines that include:

·         Require teachers to focus and report data on the Essential Indicators,

·         Require centers to provide health screenings for children enrolled including dental, vision, hearing and an annual well child check and,

·         Requires that between 10 – 20% teaching staff is working towards the New Mexico Child Development Certificate.

 

At the meeting on July 17th, CYFD stated this will be a no cost way to improving quality in early education. Once again they are requiring more without providing the funding necessary for centers to be successful. Contact CYFD at 505-827-7946 about upcoming meetings across the state. Be sure to go hear about the proposal and let them know this is not a no-cost solution.

Reimbursement Increase

After over a year of meeting with legislators, CYFD and other state officials CYFD is increasing the reimbursement rate for 3, 4 and 5 stars centers by $45 per child. This is tied to the current star system, not linked to the FOCUS rating system. After 11 years with no increase in subsidy CYFD is increasing the subsidy by only .28 per hour. The new reimbursement will be reflected in your August 1st  check from the state.

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