Commentary: Santa Fe, NM – Today, the Governor vetoed Senate Bill 134 that allowed computer science courses to fulfill science requirements for high school graduation in New Mexico. SB 134, sponsored by Representative Debra Sariñana (D-Albuquerque) and Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque), would have given students the opportunity to learn new and practical skills while earning credits to graduate. It passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“This is a veto against progress and advancement in New Mexico education. Computer science is a vital life skill and prepares students for college and high-paying jobs in the 21st Century economy,” said Rep. Sariñana. “This veto is the latest in a string of actions by this Governor that does not align with her supposed commitment to support public education, our students, and our hardworking educators. The bottom line is that New Mexico students are being denied critical education opportunities in our classrooms and we must always keep their success in the forefront of decision making in Santa Fe, and this veto does the exact opposite."
The Governor provided no explanation for her veto.
“This bill had the support of the Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s own education department, and the teachers’ union. The benefits of computer science seem obvious to everyone but our Governor,” said Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces), a co-sponsor of the bill. “For the Governor to deny New Mexico students educational and life opportunities without any explanation is exceedingly disappointing.”
32 states allow computer science to count toward high school graduation requirements. In addition, computer science has been linked to increased academic and economic success for students who fulfill course requirements. Rep. Sariñana intends to bring this legislation forward next year.