Albuquerque School Board Votes No on PARCC Payment

new-mexico-state-flagThis is an odd story.  The Albuquerque School Board voted 4 to 3 to withhold the $1.4 million it owes the state of New Mexico for the PARCC assessment this year.

Local NPR affiliate KRWG reports:

The school board voted 4-3 on Wednesday night to hold back the $1.4 million reimbursement after audience members at the meeting voiced opposition to PARCC and the new teacher assessments that are partially based on them.

School board members didn’t explain their votes. Superintendent Brad Winter and several board members couldn’t be reached for comment.

Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera told The Associated Press on Friday that the district has a responsibility to pay its bills and that there’s an expectation for school board members to abide by state and federal laws.

Yes the district has a responsibility to pay its bills, but did they actually agree to use PARCC?  No, it was mandated by the state which may (I don’t know how much the previous assessment cost) have increased the school district’s assessment costs who then would shift that burden to taxpayers.  This was done of course without a vote of the New Mexico Legislature.  The Legislature should consider how just unfunded mandates are for local school districts.  If you are going to pick the assessment without their say and input, and without a vote of the state legislature then perhaps New Mexico State Department of Education should find a way to pay for it out of their own budget.

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