Last week the New Mexico Public Education Department announced it was removing the “More Rigorous Intervention” (MRI) designation from four of the state's schools.
Last year PED, under the leadership of former PED Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski, labeled four elementary schools—three of which were in Albuquerque—as in need of more rigorous intervention. The designation is given to schools who received F grades for their performance from PED for at least five years in a row. The schools were given the option of closing down or “championing choice”—providing parents with information on competing schools in the area and facilitating the transfer of students to those schools.
PED released a statement last week confirming that the four schools in question—Hawthorne, Whittier, Los Padillas and Dulce elementary schools—were having their MRI status changed to Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI). The department is operating under a new administration, and according to the statement, the move “signals a departure from the policy position of the previous administration by removing closure as an option and underscoring the responsibility of the district for improving outcomes at each identified school.”
New Mexico PED says MRI designations will once again be considered in 2021, following three years of “intensive evidence-based support.”
Second Amendment Meeting Shut Down
An Aztec City Commission meeting to decide if the town should become a second amendment “sanctuary” became so heated that police ended it early and separated commissioners from angry residents.
Last week the Aztec City Commission voted 3-2 against the Second Amendment Preservation City resolution—a proposal that would have made it a city policy to ignore certain federal gun laws. According to the Farmington Daily Times, residents in attendance were so upset by the vote that they began shouting at the commissioners, who attempted to go on with the meeting. They were to vote on an amended version of the resolution that would have upheld federal laws, but would not have given any resources toward enforcing them. However, police at the scene deemed the situation was getting out of hand and ushered commission members into another room before ordering the audience to leave the building.
Law enforcement officials across the state are refusing to enforce gun legislation, as part of the sanctuary movement. BernCo Sheriff Manuel Gonzales told reporters last month that he was declaring Bernalillo County a second amendment “sanctuary.”
City Acquires More Open Space
Last week the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division celebrated its 35-year anniversary with a ceremony marking the acquisition of 38 acres of protected land.
According to a press release from the city's Parks and Recreation department, the added land is located in southeast Albuquerque on the Logan Ranch and Chant properties. Logan Ranch is a 21.4-acre parcel along the Arroyo that is part of a wildlife corridor frequented by deer, bobcats and raptors. The Chant property is 16.7 acres that now enlarges the Route 66 Open Space to 79.7 acres.
The money to pay for the properties was taken from impact fees, reports KOB-TV. These fees are imposed on new development by the city to recoup the cost of capital improvements related to the development, including roads, drainage facilities, fire stations, police stations, parks, open space and trails.