Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico

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Transparency grading process
Albuquerque Public Schools is the largest school district in New Mexico with 139 schools and 89,500 students in 2010.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of New Mexico school district websites

This website was most recently reviewed on an unknown date.

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 4 years.[1]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[2]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[3]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 6 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 6 years.[4]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[5]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2006 are available.[6]
  • Contracts
    • Collective bargaining agreements are posted.[7]
    • Bids and RFPs are available.[8]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the Director of Communications. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[9]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[10]
  • Academics
    • Academic performance reports for the school are posted online.[11]
  • Background Checks
    • The criminal background check policy and teacher certification requirements are posted online.[12]

Leadership

School Board

The Board of Education is comprised of seven members each representing one district in the city. Members are elected to four year terms and elections are staggered.The next school board election is February 2013.[13]

Responsibilities include[14]:

  • Hiring Superintendent
  • Budgeting
  • With the Superintendent, chart a path for the district

After incurring $140,000 in debt from unpaid lunches, the APS implemented a policy in 2009 where students with unpaid lunches would be served a cold cheese sandwich and some fruit. Last reports claim that APS has collected $91,000 of that debt. They hope the policy will help pay off the rest of the debt and encourage parents to sign up for the free or reduced lunch program..[15]

In 2007, the board voted 4-3 to allow Albuquerque Public Schools police officers to wear their handguns in school. Previously the guns had to be locked in the trunk of their car.[16]

Teacher Contracts

As of August 15th, APS has reached a tentative agreement with the five unions on contracts that will need to be approved by the Board of Education.The five unions include: teachers, police, educational assistants, maintenance and operations workers, and secretarial/clerical workers. The agreement includes no pay raises for any of the unions in 2012.[17]

The Albuquerque Teachers Federation approved the tentative agreement by a vote of 74%-26%.[18]

Teachers will also be contributing an extra $60 a month to their pension plan in 2012. The average APS teacher earns $43,000 a year.[19]

The PDF of the 2012 agreement is not yet posted, but the 2011 agreement can be found here.

Salary schedules for teachers can be found on the ATF Union website here.

Administrative Officials

The Superintendent of APS is Winston Brooks.[20] In 2008, Brooks was given a 3 year contract by a 5-2 vote of the APS School board. He was given a salary of $250,000 a year, or $273,000 with benefits included.[21]

In 2011, the APS Board of Education voted unanimously to add another year onto Winston's contract making it run until 2014. His salary was upped to $256,000 a year.[22]

Brooks has been criticized by Governor Susana Martinez for spending almost half a million dollars a year on its communication and web department. despite a $31 million budget shortfall in the 2012 budget. APS’ Communications and Web Department is headed by Monica Armenta and Rigo Chavez who earn $107,000 and $70,000 a year.[23]

In 2010, Brooks received a William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award in Education from the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.[24]

Unions

Teachers in Albuquerque are represented by the Albuquerque Teachers Federation whose motto is "professional progressive unionism".[25] A stated goal of ATF is to see the repeal of No Child Left Behind.[26]

For the 2008 tax period, AFT's reported income was $ 2,073,129. The tax form can be found here.

Budget

Albuquerque Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.[27]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2012-2013 $469,430,433 74.9% $62,330,826 9.9% $94,632,434 15.1% $0 0% $9,000 0% $626,483,987
Averages: $469,430,433 75% $62,330,826 10% $94,632,434 15% $0 0% $9,000 0% $626,483,987

Academic performance

As of 2011, 87% of schools in APS did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress. Only six schools in the district met AYP. The table below outlines the reading and math proficiency in APS compared to statewide.[28]

' APS Statewide
Reading Proficiency 52% 50%
Math Proficiency 45% 42%

APS School District Report Cards can be found here.

Charter School Controversy

In 2010, APS urged state legislators to put a moratorium on new charter schools stressing that there is not enough funds to accommodate more. Charter schools are scheduled by state law to be in public buildings by 2015 instead of rented or bought buildings.[29]

In 2010, APS considered revoking the charter for four schools if they did not disclose their financial records. The schools were: Amy Biehl Charter High, La Luz del Monte Learning Center, Southwest Primary, and Southwest Secondary Learning Centers.[30] The charter schools said their charters only mandate quarterly financial statements and they weren't required to give monthly statements. Scott Glasrud, the head administrator for Southwest Learning Centers said this of the relationship with APS: "This is how and what we deal with quite often with Albuquerque Public Schools. It's not a good relationship by any stretch of the imagination. For charter schools or for the district probably for that matter."[31]

APS has questioned the salary of Scott Glasrud, who supervises three charter schools: Southwest Primary, La Luz Del Monte and Southwest Secondary. Glasrud earns $204,000 while overseeing under 500 students. Glasrud defends his salary and said that he performs duties as principal along with superintendent which actually saves money by not hiring more positions.[32]

External links

References

  1. Albuquerque Public Schools, Budgets, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  2. Albuquerque Public Schools, Staff Directory, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  3. Albuquerque Public Schools, Elected Officials, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  4. Albuquerque Public Schools, Meeting Minutes and Agendas, Accessed: January 7, 2013
  5. Albuquerque Public Schools, Meeting Calendar, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  6. Albuquerque Public Schools, Audits, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  7. Albuquerque Public Schools, Collective Bargaining Agreements, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  8. Albuquerque Public Schools, Bids and RFPs, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  9. Albuquerque Public Schools, Public Records, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  10. Albuquerque Public Schools, Tax Revenue and Rates in Budget, Accessed: January 7, 2013
  11. Albuquerque Public Schools, School Report Cards, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  12. Albuquerque Public Schools, Background Check, Accessed: January 6, 2013
  13. Board
  14. Board
  15. KOAT "Other States Look To Albuquerque's Cheese Sandwich Policy"
  16. ABQ Trib "Albuquerque school board votes to let cops carry guns"
  17. APS Union Agreement
  18. ATF Union "Tentative Agreement Ratified"
  19. KOB "APS teachers begin school year without pay raise"
  20. Superintendent
  21. KAKE "Winston Brooks Accepts Albuquerque Sup't Job"
  22. KRQE "APS Superintendent's contract extended"
  23. KOAT "APS PR Staff Costs Taxpayers $500K A Year"
  24. New Mexico Independent "Rep. Arnold-Jones, others receive transparency awards"
  25. ATF Union
  26. Issues
  27. Albuquerque Public Schools, "Budget, Planning and Analysis," Accessed November 26, 2013
  28. ABQ Journal "Live, learn as if time is fleeting"
  29. KRQE "APS: No new charter schools"
  30. KOBTV "4 charter schools face APS scrutiny"
  31. KRQE "APS could revoke schools’ charter"
  32. .KOAT "APS Questions Charter School Superintendent Salary"