SANTA FE—This afternoon, by a vote of 64 to 3, the House of Representatives endorsed House Bill 332, a plan advocated by Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque) to notify parents via text message if their child has an upcoming required assessment or if their child’s grade point average falls below 2.0.
Rep. Gentry offered this idea as a low-cost way to improve student outcomes. A 2017 study by Columbia University found that weekly text message alerts to parents about missed assignments, grades, and class absences reduced student course failures by 38%, increased class attendance by 17%, and improved district retention rates by two percentage points.
It is estimated that New Mexico could implement this approach for just a few dollars per child. Under the provisions of the bill, only the parents of high school students would receive notifications. Rep. Gentry’s proposal allows parents to opt-out of these notifications.
“Given the dismal statistics on the status of educational outcomes in New Mexico, it would be legislative malpractice for us to stand by and do nothing to improve student performance in our state,” said Rep. Gentry. “Text notifications work. The idea has been backed by countless academic studies. It is an easy, low-cost way to help our children succeed. What do we have to lose?”
HB 332 now moves to the Senate for consideration.