The state department that has been criticized for letting child abuse cases slip through the cracks is now under fire from some Albuquerque parents and school administrators for a lack of discretion when looking into student absences. Days before Albuquerque Public Schools teachers, students and parents were gearing up for a two-week winter vacation, one mother said she got an unexpected visit from Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) case workers. The mother recounted her story in an email to APS board members. NM Political Report obtained the mother’s email from CYFD, but the state agency redacted her name. “I asked through the door who it was, and a woman yelled in a very loud voice, ‘WE ARE WITH THE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT DEPARTMENT AND WE ARE INVESTIGATING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY,’” the mother wrote.
The Albuquerque Public Schools Board responded to the letter from a national auditing group regarding concerns that the district is weakening its internal audit function. APS Board President Dr. David Peercy’s letter addressed concerns raised by David Jones, a city auditor in Seattle and the Advocacy Committee Chair of the Association of Local Government Auditors. Besides addressing Jones’ concerns, Peercy also took the opportunity to question why APS has become a focus of the national group. “I’m not sure why our internal APS organization has become a national concern of ALGA, as well as perhaps other school districts, but we do appreciate being made aware of concerns from any organization,” Peercy wrote. NM Political Report first reported on the letter from the national organization on Monday.
A national auditing organization reached out to Albuquerque Public Schools on Tuesday and asked the district to rethink the restructuring of the auditing department. David Jones, the city auditor of Seattle, penned the letter on behalf of the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA) asking APS Board President David Peercy to keep the district’s current internal audit processes in place. Jones also serves as the ALGA’s advocacy committee chair. “We believe these changes significantly weaken the District’s audit functions and could limit the transparency of the District’s operations,” Jones wrote. APS is seeking to eliminate the independence of its auditors and shift those responsibilities to other areas of the district.