Q&A APS Board District 6 Josefina ‘Josie’ Dominguez - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A APS Board District 6 Josefina ‘Josie’ Dominguez

Josefina “Josie” Dominguez

Name: Josefina “Josie” Dominguez

Political party: Nonpartisan race

Age: 63

Education: Master’s in literature, New Mexico State University, 2009; Spanish certification, University of Texas Austin, 1984/85 and Colorado College, 1982/83; B.A. in English, Colorado College, 1981

Occupation: Retired in 2013 from teaching

Family: Two adult APS graduates; five grandchildren — two in APS

Relevant experience: Twenty-eight years as a classroom English and Spanish middle school/high school teacher in seven districts, spanning Colorado, Texas, New Mexico; 2008-2010 writing facilitator for NMSU BioMedical students in RISE Program (Research Initiative and Scientific Enrichment)

Campaign website: josieforaps.com, facebook.com/JosieForPublicSchools

What’s the biggest issue APS faces? How would you address it?

The health and safety of the classroom and school are the priority not only for APS but also, I would argue, for the Albuquerque community at large. We need more trained professionals on all campuses to ensure students are safe, physically and mentally. Classrooms need the correct number of purifiers.

In your opinion, what is the primary role of a school board member?

School board members are mandated by voters to advocate for students and parents, especially the most vulnerable, across the district but particularly in their district. This includes setting goals for the superintendent that are measurable and establishing a budgeting process that is transparent at all levels.

How would you evaluate the current school board’s performance?

Under Dr. David Peercy’s leadership, our board worked tirelessly, especially during the pandemic of 2020-2021. They made safety and health the priorities, even as they faced unfair attacks on their personal lives. As always, work remains to be done, especially given state and local realities.

What experience do you have overseeing a budget?

As an English department chair, I worked closely with the principal to allocate monies for books and personnel. As a union representative, I relied on the local bargaining agent’s access to district budgets to understand the complexities driving decisions. I know professionally that campuses need to be THE priority.

Would you support a vaccine mandate for APS students who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine? Why or why not?

If the community wants or needs students to be in school and the surge in COVID cases increases, mandates will have to be considered. The health and safety of staff, students and families must be a priority. I would have to balance science and legal considerations.

What’s your position on mask mandates at schools?

I will follow the law and the science. I will, above all, do everything in my ability to keep students, staff, and community safe.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a return to remote learning?

If COVID infections return to what they were in early 2020, I would be compelled to support a return to remote learning. However, I believe that the current board and administration have established policies and procedures that would make for an improved remote learning experience for students and families.

Do you think superintendent applications should be public?

Applicants who submit an application of interest often appreciate a private vetting process. We limit the applicant pool if we divulge names during this process. A private head hunter firm can also limit choices if they are beholden to the administration. After vetting, the process correctly is public.

How would you evaluate APS as a whole?

APS has innovative programs and successes across the district. Unfortunately, they are overshadowed by budgetary problems and system and procedural failures. The budget problems, to a great extent, are created by a poorly funded state formula, which means there is no room for waste.

What’s your stance on charter schools?

They provide an important choice for students and parents. They also provide innovative ideas that we can replicate in neighborhood schools. Charter schools are part of the district and must be supported and commended, as long as they are following the rules and guidelines that govern them.

APS has been sued numerous times for failing to release public records. What, if anything, would you do to ensure that the school district is adhering to state transparency laws, such as the Inspection of Public Records Act?

This is unacceptable if we are losing money and failing to follow the law, intentionally or unintentionally. I want to ensure that first, we follow the law and equally important that we stop paying fees and penalties unnecessarily. We are already strapped for money, and budget transparency is a priority.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

3, Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, or any misdemeanor or felony?

No.


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