Las Vegas City Councilor David Romero was named last week to the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Secretary’s Community Advisory, a group dedicated to improving education across the state.

Romero, who was formerly a member of the West Las Vegas School Board, is one of 60 people selected. They include 15 educators, 15 high school students, 15 parents or guardians and 15 civic members. Members serve a term of one full academic year. 

Romero told the Optic he wants to see schools take advantage of every available opportunity to allow them to become more successful for students. 

“My main motivation was being a former school board member, and now working as a city councilor to make sure the schools are involved in decision making,” Romero said. “I want them to be successful here and around the state.”

Romero said he was approached about joining the advisory by people he had previously worked with in education earlier this year. It was a multi-step process that led to him being selected last week. 

PED describes the group as an “avenue for seeking community feedback on essential programming in public education and serves as a model for districts and schools for cultivating partnerships and implementing community-informed best practices.”

One of the main goals is to learn about concerns those closest to education have about the way things are working in the state, while working toward finding solutions. 

Members will attend quarterly meetings as a group, and will meet remotely with PED leadership monthly. According to Romero, the first meeting is set for Dec. 11. 

Education has long been a concern in New Mexico. The state currently ranks last in education, and 49th in child well-being. Though the state has improved in recent years, only 75 percent of high school students in New Mexico graduate high school within four years, up from 65 percent in 2012.

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