Dear Alibi ,
Has our government forsaken Main St. for Wall St.? Last week, the national unemployment rate reached a staggering 10.2 percent, the first time in 26 years that it has been over 10 percent.
Right now our economy is hurting, especially here in New Mexico. We need Congress to act to pass a clean energy jobs plan. The House of Representatives passed a plan in June that will benefit low-income Americans in particular. The clean energy jobs plan will fight poverty and help raise living standards right here in Albuquerque. One study estimates that energy efficiency provisions alone will create over 4,000 new jobs in New Mexico, slash the unemployment rate and reduce household living costs. This plan will help some of those hardest hit by the economic collapse, slash pollution and start rebuilding our economy. The Senate is going to take up this plan in the fall and it’s vitally important for both our environment and our economy that Senators Bingaman and Udall support this clean energy bill.
We can't wait forever.
Some people from our New Mexico community believe that tax credits and/or school vouchers will solve the academic educational problems that need addressing in our state. Please be reminded of several things: Private/parochial schools are not bound by the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Law, the NCLB test for public schools is broken down into categories including minorities, low-income, special education, limited English learners and other such categories. Every public school with all of the above groups must meet “Adequate Yearly Progress” until 100 percent are test-proficient by school year 2013-14, a statistical impossibility! At La Cueva High School, we did not make AYP this year because our special education subgroup did not meet “Adequate Yearly Progress.” Yet our school graduates over 88 percent of our seniors; provides more AP courses for our students than any public, private or parochial school in New Mexico; percentage-wise according to family economic income sends as many if not more kids to college than any high school in our state; we send more of our students to our nation’s military academies; and this past school year we had the only student in New Mexico to score a perfect 36 on the ACT Test, and that once again includes public, private and parochial schools! Are the test scores adequately calculated or are the statistics skewed? May we say that the intention of the law was good, but can any school reach 100 percent?
I would gladly be for tax credits and/or school vouchers if the school receiving the tax credit or voucher would agree to four things: 1) The school would accept the tax credit/voucher as a total payment for attending their school. 2) The school would agree to accept any student who applies, including students with special needs, development disability, attention deficit disorder, and students with a physical and/or mental disability. 3) The school must agree to provide transportation to and from their school at no extra cost. 4) Provide for the use of textbooks free for all students. All of the above are guaranteed by all pubic schools. When I see the supporters of tax credits or school vouchers agree to these four requirements, I will then begin to consider that they are well-intentioned people who are really concerned with the deficiencies of our public schools.
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