The Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent said Hawthorne Elementary will not be closing, despite threats made by the Public Education Department.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy told reporters that the district will not cooperate with PED if ordered to close the school. She said legal options will be pursued if the matter is pressed.
Hawthorne was one of three elementary schools in Albuquerque labeled in need of “more rigorous intervention” (MRI) last year after they received F grades from the state for more than five years in row. Considered “chronically failing,” the schools were given a choice to restructure and redesign, convert to a magnet school, close and reopen as a charter school or permanently close.
PED accepted the restructuring plans for Los Padillas and Whittier elementary—the two other APS MRI schools schools—in May, but rejected Hawthorne's. Reedy claims PED might not have the authority to close the school.
PED said Hawthorne will close at the end of the 2020-2021 school year if the school fails to earn a C grade or better in the next three school years.
“Trinity Test” Study to be Released
A study concerning the effects of the world’s first atomic bomb test on New Mexican residents living near the site is expected to be released in 2019.
The Associated Press reports researchers with the National Cancer Institute are currently analyzing diet and radiation exposure data taken from residents living near the site of the 1945 “Trinity Test,” in which the world’s first nuclear device was successfully detonated 230 miles south of Los Alamos. The bomb detonated at the so-called “Trinity” site was a plutonium implosion device, similar to the one dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. Residents living in the area were not informed of the tests.
The study will hopefully shed light on whether the test negatively affected the health of nearby residents and generations of their offspring. The National Cancer Institute expects the study's results to be published for peer review by spring 2019.
State Rigs Reach Record High
The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association reports the state's rig count has reached an all-time high of 103 rigs—with 101 of them located in the Permian Basin.
The Permian Basin covers 75,000 square miles over southeast New Mexico and West Texas. It is the most prolific oil producing basin in the US. Lea County has 51 rigs—the highest rig count in the state. The oil and gas association say the rigs can account for 5,000 jobs.
Last year's record-setting gas and oil production reportedly made New Mexico the third largest oil producer in the nation, behind Texas and North Dakota. Annual production in 2017 was 171 million barrels.