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Article XII, New Mexico Constitution

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New Mexico Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXXXXIXXIIXXIIIXXIV
Article XII of the New Mexico Constitution is entitled Education and consists of 15 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Free Public Schools

A uniform system of free public schools sufficient for the education of, and open to, all the children of school age in the state shall be established and maintained.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Permanent School Fund

The permanent school fund of the state shall consist of the proceeds of sales of Sections Two, Sixteen, Thirty-Two and Thirty-Six in each township of the state, or the lands selected in lieu thereof; the proceeds of sales of all lands that have been or may hereafter be granted to the state not otherwise appropriated by the terms and conditions of the grant; such portion of the proceeds of sales of land of the United States within the state as has been or may be granted by congress; all earnings, including interest, dividends and capital gains from investment of the permanent school fund; also all other grants, gifts and devises made to the state, the purpose of which is not otherwise specified.

(As amended November 5, 1996.)

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Control of Constitutional Educational Institutions; Use of State Land Proceeds and Other Educational Funds

The schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions provided for by this constitution shall forever remain under the exclusive control of the state, and no part of the proceeds arising from the sale or disposal of any lands granted to the state by congress, or any other funds appropriated, levied or collected for educational purposes, shall be used for the support of any sectarian, denominational or private school, college or university.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Current School Fund

All forfeitures, unless otherwise provided by law, and all fines collected under general laws; the net proceeds of property that may come to the state by escheat; the rentals of all school lands and other lands granted to the state, the disposition of which is not otherwise provided for by the terms of the grant or by act of congress shall constitute the current school fund of the state.

(As amended November 2, 1971, November 4, 1986 and November 5, 1996.)

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Compulsory School Attendance

Every child of school age and of sufficient physical and mental ability shall be required to attend a public or other school during such period and for such time as may be prescribed by law.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Public Education Department; Public Education Commission

A. There is hereby created a “public education department” and a “public education commission” that shall have such powers and duties as provided by law. The department shall be a cabinet department headed by a secretary of public education who is a qualified, experienced educator who shall be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.

B. Ten members of the public education commission shall be elected for staggered terms of four years as provided by law. Commission members shall be residents of the public education commission district from which they are elected. Change of residence of a commission member to a place outside the district from which he was elected shall automatically terminate the term of that member.

C. The governor shall fill vacancies on the commission by appointment of a resident from the district in which the vacancy occurs until the next regular election for membership on the commission.

D. The secretary of public education shall have administrative and regulatory powers and duties, including all functions relating to the distribution of school funds and financial accounting for the public schools to be performed as provided by law.

E. The elected members of the 2003 state board of education shall constitute the public education commission, if this amendment is approved, until their terms expire and the districts from which the state board of education were elected shall constitute the state public education commission districts until changed by law.

(As amended November 4, 1958, effective January 1, 1959, November 4, 1986, and September 23, 2003.)

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Investment of Permanent School Fund

A. As used in this section, “fund” means the permanent school fund described in Section 2 of this article and all other permanent funds derived from lands granted or confirmed to the state by the act of congress of June 20, 1910, entitled “An act to enable the people of New Mexico to form a constitution and state government and be admitted into the union on an equal footing with the original states.”

B. The fund shall be invested by the state investment officer in accordance with policy regulations promulgated by the state investment council.

C. In making investments, the state investment officer, under the supervision of the state investment council, shall exercise the judgment and care under the circumstances then prevailing that businessmen of ordinary prudence, discretion and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs not in regard to speculation but in regard to the permanent disposition of their funds, considering the probable income as well as the probable safety of their capital.

D. The legislature may establish criteria for investing the fund if the criteria are enacted by a three-fourths vote of the members elected to each house, but investment of the fund is subject to the following restrictions:

(1) not more than sixty-five percent of the book value of the fund shall be invested at any given time in corporate stocks;

(2) not more than ten percent of the voting stock of a corporation shall be held;

(3) stocks eligible for purchase shall be restricted to those stocks of businesses listed upon a national stock exchange or included in a nationally recognized list of stocks; and

(4) not more than fifteen percent of the book value of the fund may be invested in international securities at any single time.

E. All additions to the fund and all earnings, including interest, dividends and capital gains from investment of the fund shall be credited to the fund.

F. Except as provided in Subsection G of this section, the annual distributions from the fund shall be five percent of the average of the year-end market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years.

G. In addition to the annual distribution made pursuant to Subsection F of this section, unless suspended pursuant to Subsection H of this section, an additional annual distribution shall be made pursuant to the following schedule; provided that no distribution shall be made pursuant to the provisions of this subsection in any fiscal year if the average of the year-end market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years is less than five billion eight hundred million dollars ($5,800,000,000):

(1) in fiscal years 2005 through 2012, an amount equal to eight-tenths percent of the average of the year-end market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years; provided that any additional distribution from the permanent school fund pursuant to this paragraph shall be used to implement and maintain educational reforms as provided by law; and

(2) in fiscal years 2013 through 2016, an amount equal to one-half percent of the average of the year-end market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years; provided that any additional distribution from the permanent school fund pursuant to this paragraph shall be used to implement and maintain educational reforms as provided by law.

H. The legislature, by a three-fifths’ vote of the members elected to each house, may suspend any additional distribution provided for in Subsection G of this section.

(As amended November 4, 1958, September 23, 1965, November 6, 1990, November 5, 1996, and September 23, 2003.)

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Teachers to Learn English and Spanish

The legislature shall provide for the training of teachers in the normal schools or otherwise so that they may become proficient in both the English and Spanish languages, to qualify them to teach Spanish-speaking pupils and students in the public schools and educational institutions of the state, and shall provide proper means and methods to facilitate the teaching of the English language and other branches of learning to such pupils and students.

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Religious Tests in Schools

No religious test shall ever be required as a condition of admission into the public schools or any educational institution of this state, either as a teacher or student, and no teacher or student of such school or institution shall ever be required to attend or participate in any religious service whatsoever.

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Educational Rights of Children of Spanish Descent

Children of Spanish descent in the state of New Mexico shall never be denied the right and privilege of admission and attendance in the public schools or other public educational institutions of the state, and they shall never be classed in separate schools, but shall forever enjoy perfect equality with other children in all public schools and educational institutions of the state, and the legislature shall provide penalties for the violation of this section. This section shall never be amended except upon a vote of the people of this state, in an election at which at least three-fourths of the electors voting in the whole state and at least two-thirds of those voting in each county in the state shall vote for such amendment.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

State Educational Institutions

The university of New Mexico, at Albuquerque; the New Mexico state university, near Las Cruces, formerly known as New Mexico college of agriculture and mechanic arts; the New Mexico highlands university, at Las Vegas, formerly known as New Mexico normal university; the western New Mexico university, at Silver City, formerly known as New Mexico western college and New Mexico normal school; the eastern New Mexico university, at Portales, formerly known as eastern New Mexico normal school; the New Mexico institute of mining and technology, at Socorro, formerly known as New Mexico school of mines; the New Mexico military institute, at Roswell, formerly known as New Mexico military institute; the New Mexico school for the blind and visually impaired, at Alamogordo, formerly known as New Mexico school for the visually handicapped; the New Mexico school for the deaf, at Santa Fe, formerly known as New Mexico asylum for the deaf and dumb; the northern New Mexico state school, at El Rito, formerly known as Spanish-American school; are hereby confirmed as state educational institutions. All lands, together with the natural products thereof and the money proceeds of any of the lands and products, held in trust for the institutions, respectively, under their former names, and all properties heretofore granted to, or owned by, or which may hereafter be granted or conveyed to, the institutions respectively, under their former names, shall, in like manner as heretofore, be held in trust for, or owned by or be considered granted to, the institutions individually under their names as hereinabove adopted and confirmed. The appropriations made and which may hereafter be made to the state by the United States for agriculture and mechanical colleges and experiment stations in connection therewith shall be paid to the New Mexico state university, formerly known as New Mexico college of agriculture and mechanic arts.

(As repealed and reenacted November 8, 1960; as amended November 3, 1964; November 2, 2004.)

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Acceptance and Use of Enabling Act Educational Grants

All lands granted under the provisions of the act of congress, entitled, "An act to enable the people of New Mexico to form a constitution and state government and be admitted into the union on an equal footing with the original states; and to enable the people of Arizona to form a constitution and state government and be admitted into the union on an equal footing with the original states," for the purposes of said several institutions are hereby accepted and confirmed to said institutions, and shall be exclusively used for the purposes for which they were granted; provided, that one hundred and seventy thousand acres of the land granted by said act for normal school purposes are hereby equally apportioned between said three normal institutions, and the remaining thirty thousand acres thereof is reserved for a normal school which shall be established by the legislature and located in one of the counties of Union, Quay, Curry, Roosevelt, Chaves or Eddy.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Board of Regents for Educational Institutions

The legislature shall provide for the control and management of each of said institutions, except the university of New Mexico, by a board of regents for each institution, consisting of five members, four of whom shall be qualified electors of the state of New Mexico, one of whom shall be a member of the student body of the institution and no more than three of whom at the time of their appointment shall be members of the same political party; provided, however, that the student body member provision in this section shall not apply to the New Mexico school for the deaf, the New Mexico military institute, the northern New Mexico state school or the New Mexico school for the visually handicapped, and for each of those four institutions all five members of the board of regents shall be qualified electors of the state of New Mexico. The governor shall nominate and by and with the consent of the senate shall appoint the members of each board of regents for each of said institutions. The terms of said nonstudent members shall be for six years, provided that of the five first appointed the terms of two shall be for two years, the terms for two shall be for four years, and the term of one shall be for six years. Following the approval by the voters of this amendment and upon the first vacancy of a position held by a nonstudent member on each eligible institution's board of regents, the governor shall nominate and by and with the consent of the senate shall appoint a student member to serve a two-year term. The governor shall select, with the advice and consent of the senate, a student member from a list provided by the president of the institution. In making the list, the president of the institution shall give due consideration to the recommendations of the student body president of the institution.

The legislature shall provide for the control and management of the university of New Mexico by a board of regents consisting of seven members, six of whom shall be qualified electors of the state of New Mexico, one of whom shall be a member of the student body of the university of New Mexico and no more than four of whom at the time of their appointment shall be members of the same political party. The governor shall nominate and by and with the consent of the senate shall appoint the members of the board of regents. The present five members shall serve out their present terms. The two additional members shall be appointed in 1987 for terms of six years. Following the approval by the voters of this amendment and upon the first vacancy of a position held by a nonstudent member on the university of New Mexico's board of regents, the governor shall nominate and by and with the consent of the senate shall appoint a student member to serve a two-year term. The governor shall select, with the advice and consent of the senate, a student member from a list provided by the president of the university of New Mexico. In making the list, the president of the university of New Mexico shall give due consideration to the recommendations of the student body president of the university.

Members of the board shall not be removed except for incompetence, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office. Provided, however, no removal shall be made without notice of hearing and an opportunity to be heard having first been given such member. The supreme court of the state of New Mexico is hereby given exclusive original jurisdiction over proceedings to remove members of the board under such rules as it may promulgate, and its decision in connection with such matters shall be final.

(As amended September 20, 1949, effective January 1, 1950, November 4, 1986, and November 8, 1994.)

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Recall of Local School Board Members

Any elected local school board member is subject to recall by the voters of the school district from which elected. A petition for a recall election must cite grounds of malfeasance or misfeasance in office or violation of the oath of office by the member concerned. The recall petition shall be signed by registered voters not less in number than thirty-three and one-third percent of those who voted for the office at the last preceding election at which the office was voted upon. Procedures for filing petitions and for determining validity of signatures shall be as provided by law. If at the special election a majority of the votes cast on the question of recall are in favor thereof, the local school board member is recalled from office and the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.

(As added November 6, 1973 and as amended November 4, 1986.)

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Local School Boards Having Seven Single-Member Districts

In those local school districts having a population of more than two hundred thousand, as shown by the most recent decennial census, the qualified electors of the districts may choose to have a local school board composed of seven members, residents of and elected from single member districts.

If a majority of the qualified electors voting in such a district election vote to have a seven-member board, the school district shall be divided into seven local school board member districts which shall be compact, contiguous and as nearly equal in population as possible. One school board member shall reside within, and be elected from each local school board member district. Change of residence to a place outside the district from which a school board member was elected shall automatically terminate the service of that school board member and the office shall be declared vacant.

The school board member districts shall be established by resolution of the local school board with the approval of the state legislature, and may be changed once after each federal decennial census by the local school board with the approval of the state legislature.

The elections required under this amendment shall be called and conducted as provided by law for other local school board elections. The state board of education shall, by resolution, establish the terms of the first board elected after the creation of such a seven-member board.

(As added November 4, 1980.)

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