Describing state Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, as a proponent of education simply because he is a former Rio Rancho Public Schools school board member (Observer, Feb. 28), is as erroneous as portraying Donald Trump as a proponent of good government simply because he’s a former president.
Perhaps the Observer did not mean that Brandt is a proponent of public education, as he recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 1, which would allow using state educational funds to support religious schools. SJR 1, in effect, would defund our public schools and force taxpayers to support religious beliefs that they may neither share nor condone.
Additionally, last week’s Observer reported that Brandt opposes Senate Bill 40, which would require public schools to extend the 2021-22 school year once it is safe to get back to in-person learning. Brandt says the focus has to be getting kids back in school.
His was the only dissenting vote against SB 40 on the Senate Education Committee.
The goal of SB 40 is to counteract learning loss due to pandemic-related school closures.
Evidence shows that remote learning is less effective than in-person learning, and students who come from low-income backgrounds face the greatest challenges.
Getting students back to school quickly and safely is everyone’s goal and does not conflict with increasing instructional time to compensate for learning loss.
While there are valid arguments for school districts to have the flexibility to tailor extended learning options to local circumstances beyond what SB 40 permits, Brandt’s position that we should only focus on opening schools without considering ways to counteract learning loss is irresponsible.
Deborah Dapson
Rio Rancho