Press "Enter" to skip to content

School Accountability Scandal on Governor Richardson’s Desk

On the front page of today’s Albuquerque Journal, “Reports Says APS Wastes Money.”

We already established that school accountability has apparently very little to do with student performance. Now we learn that school accountability has nothing to do with financial diligence. It sure makes you wonder about our ranking as seventh in the nation in school accountability.

Governor Richardson, please explain again your rationale for providing another $134 million in education related funding. And don’t even think of saying this is just an APS problem. As I recall, you pushed for a Secretary of Education, and according to your own words, the reason was:

Yes on One means now there will be a Secretary of Education — providing real accountability for our educational system — and ensuring that for the first time, the buck stops with one person, the Governor. I will make sure dollars go into the classroom and not into administration.

Now it is time to see if there is any backbone to that promise. APS is flagrantly making you eat those words. They did it here:

Concerning that election, the report said voters were “not provided accurate or complete information” on the $14 million to $20 million for technology upgrades. The upgrades were mainly for administrative purposes, although APS had implied that students at each school would directly benefit, the report said.

And again here:

For example, Meyers said he was disturbed that the APS radio station, KANW, received $216,000 in repairs from the 2003 bond. That’s more than what was given to 40 schools combined, Meyers said.

Yes sir, the “proverbial buck” is sitting on your desk, and I can’t wait to see what you are going to do with it. Will heads roll? Will tomorrow’s front page lead with Governor Richardson demanding resignations? Will the promised increase in state funding be withheld? Will the Governor’s PAC get involved in the upcoming school board election? Or, will the Governor simply employ his trademark political sidestep by creating yet another task force and calling for an investigation?

The smart money is riding on the latter. It allows time for the School Accountability Scandal to blow over, and let’s Governor Richardson focus on the issues that really matter to him.