March 16, 2017

Santa Fe to have half-day for Roundhouse rally against education cuts

Santa Fe Public Schools will have a half-day today, similar to a “snow day” for students.

The projected high today is 70 degrees, so it isn’t for snow. Instead, it’s for a day of action for teachers, parents and students to show opposition to further school budget cuts.

Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica García announced the decision Wednesday afternoon.

Related: Unexplained vetoes rile lawmakers

The governor’s office wasn’t happy, and a spokesman called the plan “despicable,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

García, meanwhile, said “desperate times call for bold action.”

Legislators are still working on finishing up the state budget before the end of the legislative session this Saturday. This comes even as tensions between the governor and the Legislature hit a new high, with a series of unexplained vetoes by Gov. Susana Martinez on bills that passed with wide-bipartisan votes, in some cases without any dissenting votes in either the House or Senate.

García wrote in a letter on the Santa Fe Public Schools website announcing her decision that responses to a survey on whether or not to close the school were “80 percent in favor of closing school for the entire day.” Instead, García opted for the half-day.

García said the district received more than 5,000 responses to their survey, in addition to phone calls.

Elementary and K-8 schools will finish their days at noon, while middle and high schools will end at 1 p.m.

“We are in danger of losing between 15 to 30 instructional school days or approximately 60 to 120 positions, loss of athletics, consolidation of schools and more, as possible cost saving measures,” García wrote in her letter.