Richardson to air school policy
Democratic presidential hopeful and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson speaks to a crowd of about 30 voters Friday, Aug. 3, 2007, at a restaurant in Fort Madison, Iowa, during the midpoint of a five-city swing through southeast Iowa, Friday, Aug. 3, 2007.
J(AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, Scott Morgan)
Bill Richardson
Governor, NM
Born: 11/15/1947
Birthplace: Pasedena, CA
Home: Santa Fe, NM
Religion: Catholic
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PORTSMOUTH Gov. Bill Richardson said he wants to talk about education when he comes to New Hampshire on Wednesday.

Today, the New Mexico Democrat is expected to release details of his health plan in a speech to Iowa professional firefighters.

One of his visits Wednesday will be with the Portsmouth Herald editorial board. "He will be highlighting his success with education in New Mexico and discussing his vision for the nation's schools in the future," said spokesman Alex Goepfert. Later on in the day, he'll address the National Education Association of New Hampshire's Summer Learning Conference in Bartlett.

Richardson will also do two of his well-known "presidential job interviews" at Groveton High School in Groveton and at the Woodburn House in Whitefield.

In New Mexico, Richardson raised teacher salaries from 46th in the nation to 29th. He signed legislation that expanded full-day kindergarten and made pre-kindergarten available for 4-year-olds.

Among the initiatives of his education plan, Richardson proposes elimination of the No Child Left Behind mandate.

As he did in his home state, Richardson wants to raise starting teacher salaries to $40,000. In New Mexico, he created a professional salary system that rewards successful teachers. If elected, he plans to use that system as a model for all states to follow.

Redesigning high schools, reducing the dropout rate and making college affordable for any student who wants to attend are also among Richardson's goals. He would oppose private school tuition vouchers and expand the number of public charter schools.

The presidential hopeful said another key aim is to promote more parental involvement.