The Governor’s office and Lt. Governor Diane Denish appear to be in a he said / she said squabble about the state’s failure to land a Race to the Top education reform grant from the Obama administration:
Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia said that despite Denish’s interest in education, she declined repeated invitations to help develop the proposal.
“Her only involvement was to write a letter in support of the state’s proposal, which she praised as being ‘innovative,'” Ray-Garcia said.
“Now, for whatever reason, she has decided to attack the hard work of a lot of New Mexicans, including Secretary Garcia and her staff, who dedicated a lot of time and resources into this proposal. It was a strong proposal and Governor Richardson was proud to spend considerable time in Washington D.C. last week lobbying Secretary Duncan on its merits.”
Denish spokesman James Hallinan said Denish was never invited to participate in the grant-writing process.
Now, I admit to being a bit curious as to whom is telling the truth here. And, as it was pointed out to me by one reader, this should be relatively easy to prove one way or the other. Maybe Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia would like to send us a copy of the emails or memos that were sent to the Lt. Governor inviting her to help develop the proposal, or maybe a copy of one of the written responses where she “declined repeated inivtations.”
Alternately, maybe the Lt. Governor’s spokesman, James Hallinan could send us a copy of the request the Lt. Governor made to actually be involved with the proposal writing. I’m just saying, if one of you is telling the truth, please back it up with a little written evidence.
As a relative tangent, you’ve got to love the fact that teachers’ union representative actually wrote a letter AGAINST the state’s request for $160 million from the feds:
And while the state’s chances probably weren’t helped by a letter from Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein criticizing the state’s application, that likely wasn’t a determining factor.
It may not have been a determining factor, but I do hope that when we have a second special session this year because revenue is less than projected, our state legislatures take note that the union went out of their way to keep money for education from coming into the state. Education cuts in the amount of $160 million should absolutely be on the table if a second special session is called.