With increasing heat waves and school days, what are public schools in New Mexico to do?

On the hottest two days in July in Las Cruces, when temperatures soared to 109 and 108 on July 19 and 20 respectively, some students in the district rode home in the middle of the afternoon on buses that lacked air conditioning. Parents complained and the Las Cruces School Board of Education President Teresa Tenorio rode a few school buses herself to experience what the children were going through. The children who suffered were not only on buses that lacked air conditioning in the excessive heat. Parents also complained of buses that have air conditioning but said the circulation is not strong enough to keep all the children on the bus cool in the record high heat. “Buses that do have air conditioning may not function optimally,” Tenorio said during a Las Cruces Public School Board meeting on Tuesday.

Another controversial APS hire raises question of nepotism

One of Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Luis Valentino’s most controversial administrative hires—besides his embattled former deputy superintendent—is Gabriella Duran-Blakey. Questions are being raised about whether the hire of Duran-Blakey, who is the daughter of Albuquerque school board President Don Duran, violates a state law that prohibits nepotism in schools. Valentino brought Duran-Blakey on in late June as the school district’s associate superintendent for middle schools. Former board member Kathy Korte, who’s been outspoken throughout the scandals that have engulfed APS this month, said the hiring violates APS policies and school board ethics. “What we’re looking at here is the daughter of a school board member who was hired,” Korte said.