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Editorial: Cast your vote for better public education Tuesday

Tomorrow, many Albuquerque Public Schools and Central New Mexico Community College voters will have the right to cast a ballot in contested races for those boards of education.

It is important that they exercise it.

Because school elections have historically low turnouts – in Bernalillo County, between 3 and 3.5 percent of registered voters bother to cast a ballot. That means just a few thousand people routinely decide who selects the superintendent, and who sets policies and budget priorities for the state’s largest school district, as well as who sets policies for the state’s largest college.

APS is the 34th largest district in the United States, with over 90,000 students, 11,500 employees, 136 schools and a $1.3 billion annual budget. CNM is the largest post-secondary institution in the state, with close to 29,000 students, multiple campuses and more than $170 million in annual revenues. It is essential they have strong, collaborative leadership.

In the APS races, the Journal recommends voters keep Board President Analee Maestas representing District 1, (which includes the South Valley); elect Peggy Muller-Aragón in District 2 (which includes Northwest Albuquerque and Corrales); and elect Mark Gilboard in District 4 (which covers an area east of University Boulevard to Eubank and south of Interstate 40 through Kirtland Air Force Base).

In the lone contested CNM race, District 6 (primarily north-central Albuquerque and Corrales), the Journal recommends voters select Virginia Lopez Trujillo . The full texts of their endorsements are available at www.ABQjournal.com/532201.

Thirty-five voting centers across the metro area will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow; a complete list of voting sites is in today’s and tomorrow’s Journal and at ABQJournal.com.

Metro-area voters should make an effort and cast a ballot for the school systems their tax dollars support and their community depends on.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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