APS' Misplaced Priorities
Most people would agree that helping parents become literate is far more beneficial to our community than helping a desert elementary school obtain perfect, green grass. Unfortunately, APS administrators have shown that their priorities are different.
In the past year, APS has spent at least $80,000 sodding a Far Northeast Heights elementary school field three times (Double Eagle Elementary School). [Re: Letters, “Water Unwise,” Aug. 20-26] This does not include the cost it will continue to take to water and maintain it. This school has around 400 students, which means APS has spent about $200 per student for a field that is permanently closed to the public and is only open to students for part of the school year.
According to Congressman Martin Heinrich's website, Albuquerque has almost 79,000 adults who do not have a high school diploma or have limited or no proficiency in English. This is 17 percent of our adult population.
The average yearly cost to educate an adult in Albuquerque is just $320. For the amount that APS spent on a field that never needed to be redone, 250 people this year could have gained a GED or learned English.
Numerous studies show that children of parents who have not graduated high school are five times as likely to drop out of school. Studies also show that children's literacy levels are strongly linked to their parents' levels. Our Albuquerque desert city has one of the highest high school dropout rates and highest illiteracy rates in the country. It is truly sad that APS administrators decided to ignore these facts, and instead are trying to make an elementary school look like a Florida country club.