Albuquerque Public Schools

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico has failed to provide schooling that’s culturally appropriate and sufficient for many students of color – that’s according to a landmark education ruling last year. Now, school board elections are approaching for the state’s largest district. Anti-racist community organizers invited Albuquerque Public Schools board candidates to a public forum last week and questioned them on their understanding of systemic racism in schools and what they hope to do about it.

Candidates File For BernCo November Elections

Aug 28, 2019
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Forty-five people turned in paperwork Tuesday to run for office in a slew of local elections in Bernalillo County. Local government, education, and soil and water conservancy seats will all be on county ballots this November.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It’s decision time for people hoping to get elected to leadership at the state’s largest public school district. Next Tuesday is the deadline to file for candidacy in the Albuquerque Public Schools’ board election.

Summer Birds

Jul 22, 2019
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Children's Hour, 7/27 Sat 9a: This week on The Children’s Hour learn about the summer birds of the Rio Grande Valley with our young naturalist friend, Adya Radcliffe and Laurel Ladwig, a graduate student in the UNM Dept. of Geography & Environmental Studies. Then, hear from 4th graders who spent a year birding at the Valle Del Oro, and wrote poetry about their favorite birds.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico is under court order to better serve at-risk students, including English language learners. This spring marked a shift in Albuquerque Public Schools’ approach to the hundreds of refugees and recent immigrants in the district. 

APS Budget Would Boost Funding For At Risk Students

May 21, 2019
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools has finalized a nearly $1.5 billion budget. It reflects a nearly 14% hike in state funding, even though enrollment is dropping. The new money is in response to a landmark education equity ruling.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Whittier Elementary School in southeast Albuquerque is making a comeback. In 2017, the state Public Education Department designated it as among the worst of the “failing” schools. Albuquerque Public Schools came up with a plan to turn things around at Whittier, including increased staffing and afternoon extracurricular time called Genius Hour. KUNM visited a Genius Hour recently when the drama club presented its play.

Coronado Elementary Students Talk Books And Libraries

Mar 25, 2019
Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

This winter, a pipe burst at Coronado Elementary in downtown Albuquerque, damaging the school library. The city public library responded by issuing library cards to all Coronado students. Librarians presented the cards last week, and KUNM spoke with some fourth graders there.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will hold a series of public hearings throughout March to gather reports of mistreatment of Native American students in K-12 schools in and around the Navajo Nation. 

Let's Talk Public Charter Schools

Feb 25, 2019
Ken Lund / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 2/28 8a: Public charter schools play an important and often controversial role in our education system. On the show, we'll ask how charter schools can be great at meeting students’ unique needs, even while the charter school system can exacerbate inequalities between public schools. Do you or someone you know work at or go to a charter school? How did that go? We’d like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet your comment with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show.

APS Mail-In Ballots On Tax Increase Due Tuesday

Jan 31, 2019
Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque school district residents are voting on property tax increases that would raise about a billion dollars for projects over the next six years. The special mail-in ballots must be received in the Bernalillo County Clerks’ office by Tuesday, February 5th.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools is grappling with how to respond to critics who say the district disrespects and ignores Native American culture and history.

A public meeting APS held last week underscored a disconnect between what the district is promising and the systemic changes that many people want to see.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools held an open meeting Thursday night in response to the October incident in which students say a Cibola High School teacher used a racial slur and cut the hair of a Native American student. Parents, students and advocates told school officials that the district’s response has been too little and too late. 

APS

Albuquerque Public Schools is asking voters to increase taxes to pay for capital projects, and due to recent changes in election law, that ask is coming in the mail. Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019,  is the last day to register to vote in the special mail-in election. 

CABQ Offering Kids Free Meals Over Winter Break

Dec 20, 2018
makelessnoise via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Some kids have a hard time getting enough to eat while school is out for winter break. Albuquerque Public Schools will offer free meals for students starting Friday.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools is giving substitute teachers pay raises in an effort to recruit hundreds more of them.

APS posted a notice Tuesday that substitute teachers will get pay increases of 24-30 percent come January 1. The new salary schedule is as follows. 

The district currently has about 1000 substitute teachers, and wants to hire 500 more. They also want a couple hundred more substitute educational assistants, who will get a 15 percent raise.

Courtesy of StoryRiders, CenterOfSouthwestCulture.org

The Children's Hour, Sat 12/8 9a: Some Albuquerque 4th and 5th graders are riding bikes to learn literacy and cultural education through a special after school program called Story Riders. We’ll also get an update about the children who are suing the Federal Government for not doing enough to curb climate change, and violating the civil rights of children across our nation. It's all in an hour, every Saturday from 9 to 10am. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

UPDATE 12/4: A teacher accused of targeting Native American students in an incident on Halloween resigned from her job with Albuquerque Public Schools, effective Friday, November 30.

Former Cibola High School teacher Mary Eastin confirmed on Tuesday that she chose to end her employment at the district.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools plans to open a new program next month for students who don’t speak English and have little to no prior formal schooling. But some say that program is set up for failure. Dozens of advocates and students gathered Monday evening in Albuquerque’s South Valley to call for more transparency and accountability in the way APS designs educational services for immigrant and refugee children.  

Washington Middle School

The Children's Hour: Kids from Mrs. Hawks Spanish Language Arts class at Albuquerque's Washington Middle School talk about the meaning of the words in the Pledge of Allegiance, recent flag and pledge protests, DACA, and patriotism. With music by Wagogo, Los Tigres del Norte, Sonia De Los Santos, Peter Lenton & Friends, Keith Munslow, Yosi, Bob McGrath, Randy Kaplan, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Dog on Fleas, and The Roches. The Children's Hour broadcast date: Oct 21, 2017

Mouzzy via Flickr / Creative Commons License

UPDATE 10/11: The APS Board voted 5-1 to send the letter of opposition to the new standards to the state Public Education Department. 

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New Mexico’s largest school district could next to express disapproval of the state’s proposed new education standards.

The Albuquerque Public Schools board is expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to send a letter of opposition to the standards to the state Public Education Department.

Katie Stone

Sat. 4/15 9a: This week on The Children's Hour, Mrs. Hawk's fifth grade class teach us about the history of their school. Just north of Old Town, Duranes Elementary is one of Albuquerque's oldest public schools. Many of these students have parents and grandparents who attended Duranes.  These kids are sure to inspire other students to learn more about their own schools. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC

President Trump eliminated protections for transgender students that allow them to use the bathroom of their choice on Wednesday. In New Mexico’s largest school district, those rights are preserved. 

Families Ask APS To Reaffirm 'Safe Haven' Policies

Jan 19, 2017
Rachel LaZar / El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many immigrant families are concerned about his promise to ramp up deportations.

At an Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting Wednesday night, dozens of community members asked the district to reaffirm its commitment to its “safe haven” policy for students.

Funding Ends For Five School Clinics

Apr 20, 2016

Five health clinics housed in public schools are set to lose their state funding this summer. Now the state health department is trying to decide where they’ll send students who use the school-based health centers.

DOH Closing Two School-Based Health Centers

Apr 6, 2016
Gina McCaleb / Flickr


School-based health centers are clinics housed in public schools that offer primary care, counseling, family planning and other services and the New Mexico Department of Health is closing several of them in the Albuquerque area.

Texts And Background Checks: APS Leaders Under Scrutiny

Aug 25, 2015
chadmiller via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Governor Susana Martinez has ordered a review of background check policies in all New Mexico school districts after a man with pending criminal charges was hired into a top administrative post in Albuquerque. 

Killbox

The Albuquerque Board of Education signed off on hiring the district’s next superintendent. The local teachers union approves the board’s choice.

By mid-summer Luis Valentino will be at the helm of the Albuquerque Public School District. 

Ballots To Be Cast For School Board

Feb 2, 2015
dfirecop via flickr

Folks scattered throughout New Mexico will have the opportunity to cast their votes February 3rd in school board elections.

On Tuesday voters will elect school board members in 89 school districts across the state.

The non-partisan candidates must live in their district and be willing to serve a four year term without receiving payment for their work.

School boards hire superintendents, craft school policy and keep tabs on how a district's money is spent.

Early Childhood Education On NMPBS's Public Square

Nov 20, 2014
VickyTH via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to measurements of child wellbeing–49th according to the Kids Count Report.

Thursday at 7p on New Mexico PBS, a panel explores early childhood education as a possible solution. It's this month's episode of Public Square, a monthly public affairs program where civic dialogue takes center stage.

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