Alibi V.27 No.19 • May 10-16, 2018 

Newscity

MVD ID Requirements Questioned

The News Monkey

A temporary restraining order was filed against the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division requesting that the agency suspend its practice of illegally denying driver's licenses and state IDs to eligible residents.

According to a press release from the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness and Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a temporary restraining order was filed in state district court against the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and the Motor Vehicles Division last week. The order requests that the MVD stop denying ID applications to eligible residents until a class action lawsuit filed earlier this year is resolved.

The two groups filed the lawsuit against the MVD in January, claiming the department failed to implement a state law set in place in 2016 which gave residents the option of applying for a second-tier license instead of the federally-approved Real ID compliant driver's license. The optional identification cards—a driver’s authorization card and state ID that does not meet federal standards—were made available to non-citizens or those who were unable to comply with Real ID requirements. However, the suit filed in January claimed that MVD employees were asking for more documentation than is required by the new law, including a social security card.

If granted, the injunction will force MVD to halt the observance of “illegal regulations,” notify all residents who were denied a card in writing of the reason for their denial and record and preserve the name and mailing address of anyone whose application is denied.

PED Teacher Prep Rule Criticized

A proposed plan by the New Mexico Public Education Department that would give it authority to oversee the state's teacher development programs is facing opposition from educators and school groups.

The proposed rule would give PED the power to rate and close teacher preparation programs at the state's higher education institutions. According to Albuquerque Journal, these programs are currently reviewed by national accrediting bodies.

The new rule would allow PED to observe a program's training sessions, evaluate prospective teachers using the state's evaluation system and would require programs to keep detailed records of evaluations going back at least five years. The programs would be graded by PED annually on their effectiveness to produce quality teaching candidates that meet department expectations.

Following the announcement of the proposal, a public hearing was held by PED in which a number of educators and residents voiced concerns about the proposed rule. Some felt the department was overstepping their authority and needed to rework some aspects of the rule. The director of teacher education at Santa Fe Community College, Dawn Wink, read a letter signed by college of education deans from across the state, citing concerns over PED's evaluation system.

PED Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski reportedly said the rule is being evaluated and that “all feedback will be considered.”