Taosenos Under Siege

By: Johnny
17 September, 2011

Are teacher furloughs at TMS legal?

By Lorraine Coca-Ruiz

Will Superintendent Rod Weston take furlough days or go on a 10 day vacation? Will he be hunting for jobs, math teachers, or deer?

Union negotiator, Orion Cervio, a teacher hired on a waiver, did nothing for the teachers as a labor leader. According to “The Chuby Plan,” he keeps his job but he has forgotten that schools are for students. The union and the administration are creating morale problems with their scary tactics.

Superintendent Rod Weston and Union Rep Cervio made the irresponsible decision to balance the school district budget on the backs of our children. Have they designated furlough day?

As the budget hemorrhages, more cuts will be due at mid-year. Consequently, more innovative and successful programs will be jeopardized. If you throw educators under the bus, the level of academic achievement will continue to decline.

Taos schools are in a crisis–bigger than anything we have ever seen. The governor and legislators must take it more seriously. Too many administrators and other non-essential positions are sucking the money out of the system and taking money away from the classroom

Other school districts in the state have been able to survive without furloughs or increasing class size. Teacher furloughs are not vacation days for students. Instead of working, teachers get the day off, and the pay is subtracted from their paycheck.

When you get right down to it, the students are the biggest losers in this whole set up. They lose a day of instruction for every furlough day assigned, which defeats the purpose of an education system. Given the basic student disposition toward upcoming holidays, one can see the dangers. Students may lose the day before, knowing that they will be out of school the next day. Then they lose the day after they return because they are sill too keyed up to pay attention.

As per State Statute 22-8-9. Budgets; minimum requirements. A budget for a school district shall not be approved by the department that does not provide for: a school year consisting of at least one hundred eighty full instructional days (my bold) or the equivalent thereof:

The education system is like a leaky ship. The education fund continues to leak out before it gets to the classroom—spent on newly created administrative positions. The “Chuby Plan” downgrades the schools by instituting teacher furloughs.

In two years this same political leader, who no longer resides in the district from which he was elected as a board member, will be running, possibly, against board member Chavez , who will be asking for contributions and votes. Stakeholders in education and their family members should remember who is responsible for what and vote for change to make sure our school district keeps improving our education system: Plug the leaks, don’t sink the ship.

As for the present situation, PED is looking at this situation: the contract ordering up furlough days is not a done deal yet! The solution to over-crowded classrooms and an absence of qualified teachers may be found in tried and true fashion at TMS. The Director of Instruction and Human Resource should visit Singapore, Switzerland or Taiwan to recruit math teachers. Las Cruces is too close to home, never mind Albuquerque.

I’ll be watching.