Teachers union opposes question on APS budget survey | KOB 4
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Teachers union opposes question on APS budget survey

Joy Wang
March 20, 2018 06:58 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- What would you do with more than $620 million?

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KOB first reported on Albuquerque Public Schools' survey on the budget last week. The district sought feedback from the public, but the teacher's union says educators should not respond. Union officials say one of the questions asks the public to rank subjects such as bilingual programs and mathematics education, in order of importance.

"We're not cutting programs. We don't have to cut this year cause we got funding this year, so why is somebody asking the relatively importance of math over English or social studies over music? I don't understand the purpose of it,” said Ellen Bernstein, president of the Albuquerque Teacher’s Federation.

The question has left other teachers concerned about whether their jobs are in jeopardy, Bernstein said.

"If they want the public to give them input on their budget -- which I think they should give -- then you need to present it in a different way. You need to ask about the actual large-scale spending," she said.

But APS officials said the questions are simply about gathering thoughts for the budget steering committee.

"APS is of the opinion that every single thing offered in this district is critical to students," APS spokesperson Monica Armenta said. "But we're coming from a past where we have had several budget cuts and all we are trying to do listen to employees and get an idea of where they think moving forward we need to put our emphasis."

She said the district is still recovering from the recession and previous cuts.

"We like to say around here that the sun is up and it's shining, but the weather can change at any moment," Armenta said.

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Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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