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News/Opinion
 May 18 - 24, 2017 
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Newscity

By Joshua Lee
News City
Robert Maestas

APS Moves Employees to Save Funds

Albuquerque Public Schools is moving a number of curriculum specialists and support staff to classroom teaching assignments as a way to save funds in the coming year. It's part of a restructuring plan that school officials say will save the economically suffering district $2.5 million. In total, 28 resource teachers—who currently offer curriculum support—will be moved to classroom teaching positions. While reassigning this many staff members is common, moving resource teachers in this manner is rare. To allow for the staff change, the restructuring of two programs will be required. The home hospital instruction service, which provides tutoring to students who are away from school for an extended period due to medical reasons, will be losing four teachers. The new program will be managed by one teacher who will conduct classes through Skype. Under the new plan, computer technicians will service multiple schools instead of just one, freeing the rest to apply for teaching positions. Some of the schools will maintain a dedicated technician on-site to maintain equipment. In all, 249 school employees will be reassigned during he restructuring, including teachers and counselors.

N.M. Joins Lawsuit Against Reopening Coal Leases

New Mexico was one of four states who filed a lawsuit last week over President Trump's decision to restart the sale of coal leases on federal public lands. The democratic attorney general of New Mexico, along with state prosecutors from California, New York and Washington filed with a US district court in Montana to sue Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Interior Department and the US Bureau of Land Management to block new leases of public lands for coal mining. Earlier this year, the Trump administration rolled back a moratorium put into place by former President Barack Obama in January 2016 that halted the leasing of new coal mines on public lands. The state attorney generals filed the lawsuit because they say restarting the program without a proper environmental assessment could worsen the effects of climate change. According to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, New Mexico taxpayers must be properly compensated for coal produced in our state, including the environmental toll.

N.M. One of the Worst States For Child Hunger

According to Map the Meal Gap's 2017 report, New Mexico is the second worst state in the country when it comes to child hunger for the second year in a row. The study measured food insecurity by county in 2015 and found that in that year, one in four of the state's children were at risk of hunger, and one in six individuals were at risk overall, including adults. New Mexico's five worst ranked counties were Sierra County (28.9 percent), Torrance County (31.2 percent), Cibola County (32.7 percent), Luna County (33.6 percent) and McKinley County (34.8 percent). Experts say the state's high poverty and unemployment rates contributed to the poor ranking. According to the study, food insecurity exists in every county and congressional district in the country.

 
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