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Lots of work left for APS school board after Valentino

The events surrounding the two former superintendents, senior staff, and the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education over the past year and more recently the last month have been an unfortunate and avoidable distraction from the task and work that needs to be addressed in our schools.

With the resignation/firing of Luis Valentino, along with an undeserved letter of recommendation and a sizable payout, several issues raised by this mess are unresolved.

There is a chief financial officer on administrative leave, the reputation of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Karen Rudys has been sullied, and we still have the board president’s daughter placed in a senior position by the former superintendent.

By paying Valentino, one could imply his allegations against the individuals are now somehow validated, and nepotism is acceptable despite board policy and state law to the contrary.

These items deserve swift action by the board and should not be left to an interim superintendent to address.

Receiving less attention, but just as serious, is the double or “triple” dipping the board recently approved when it changed the policy to permit all APS staff to serve in the Legislature and receive their APS salaries despite the fact a recent survey showed over 80 percent of the citizens are against this practice.

This also appears to be a violation of the state Constitution’s anti-donation clause.

The reported reason for the board making this change in policy was the district was unable to negotiate removal of the provision from the teachers’ contract.

This is bogus.

The board is empowered to provide direction on the negotiations and has sole authority to approve each of the labor contracts, which it did.

Clearly the majority of the current board wants to continue this practice, which does not represent 80 percent of the community, but rather supports the teacher’s union.

So the real question each of us should be asking our representatives on the Board of Education is: Who do you really work for? Is it the unions, the administration, the teachers, the few who voted for you, or the community as a whole?

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