Board punts on decision to consolidate four Santa Fe schools
May 29, 2018 10:20 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. – Students and parents want to know what's next for four elementary schools in Santa Fe.
At a packed Tuesday meeting, the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education voted to postpone a decision to consolidate Chaparral, E.J. Martinez, Nava and Turquoise Trail. For hours, four board members reviewed studies and decided what's next while the community waited anxiously.
"Do it for the kids. Do it for long-term goals. Don't make a decision because you know we have new legislature coming or a new governor coming," said Darlene Roybal, whose two of her children go to E.J. Martinez. "Why not wait until then to see if we have money allocated to the schools."
"It's too soon. You can't make a decision like this without really thinking about the district as a whole," added Megan Perkins, the PTA President.
Board members Kate Noble and Rudy Garcia insisted on postponing the vote. Noble pointed out one member wasn't there, the budget isn't in crisis, and there needed to be more collaborative planning with the city.
"Would hope that the school district will take the time and really before they made such a serious decision for all for these schools," Perkins said.
Board president Steve Carrillo and vice president Maureen Cashmon disagreed with the decision to postpone.
"If we get a lot more operational dollars, absolutely let's put some more money into those two schools. If we're able to get more bond money and the public can stomach another tax increase to rebuild and do more work on those schools, absolutely," Carrillo said. "But we have to be realistic about the money we have. The conditions of our facilities and where the kids are. Not being realistic, as Maureen says, is irresponsible."
In the end, Carrillo voted to postpone because he said it was clear the votes weren't there to make a decision. A vote is now expected next year when the board has a better idea of planning for the next budget and what changes could mean for the schools.
Updated: May 29, 2018 10:20 PM
Created: May 29, 2018 09:58 PM
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