A small victory was gained this week for truth and justice when Albuquerque Public Schools decided to restore middle school athletics. Regardless of one’s perspective on whether middle school sports is a “core” function of the education system, the fact that APS was trying to blame “inadequate resources” for cutbacks was a sham (as the Rio Grande Foundation pointed out).
What can we take away from this controversy? For starters, “business as usual” cannot continue at APS. It needs to be challenged for the good of our children and due to New Mexico’s sluggish economy and poor performance. We are spending too much to get too little from our State’s largest school district.
Another lesson I’d like to hammer home is that Gov. Martinez finally stood on principle on exactly the right kind of issue. Her previous hard-line stances on drivers licenses and teacher evaluations were on shaky ground (both politically and policy-wise), but in calling out APS, Martinez had the data and the moral high ground. She won. If only she had done this more often and more consistently on issues critical to turning New Mexico’s economy around.
She may be a “lame duck,” but this battle clearly showed that Martinez still has some fight in her. Now to make the principled case against raising taxes in an already struggling economy….