The USDA announced Monday it would extend the filing deadline in the program to compensate Hispanic and women farmers who were discriminated against in loan applications. The additional time may have been granted in response to low numbers of claims.
In a last-minute extension, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that farmers now have until May 1st to file claims. The program is part of a decades-long effort to address discrimination at the USDA, which began with lawsuits brought by black farmers.
The confirmation hearing for secretary-designate of education Hanna Skandera entered its third day this weekend. The governor’s pick for the state’s top education job faced tough questions from lawmakers. Members of the Senate Rules Committee focused on allegations that Skandera has connections to private companies and political operatives.
The confirmation hearing for secretary-designate of education Hanna Skandera entered its third day this weekend. As KUNM'S Sara Van Note reports, the governor’s pick for the state’s top education job faced tough questions from lawmakers.
Members of the Senate Rules Committee focused on allegations that Skandera has connections to private companies and political operatives. Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, a democrat from Albuquerque, charged that she violated state law when she overturned the Public Education Commission’s decision on virtual charter schools.
The hearing to confirm Secretary-designate of education Hanna Skandera that began Friday continued in a contentious hours-long session on Saturday. It’s been a two-year wait for the former Deputy Commissioner of Education in Florida, who was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez in 2011.
In a surprise move announced just this week, the state legislature began proceedings today to confirm Hanna Skandera as New Mexico’s Secretary of Education. Formerly the Deputy Commissioner of Education in Florida, she has served as secretary-designate since Governor Susana Martinez appointed her in 2011. Since then she's faced criticism, and as KUNM'S Sara Van Note reports, that means her confirmation may not go smoothly.
This month, educators gathered in Albuquerque for the first New Mexico Ted conference to focus on education. Over a dozen presenters gave short talks at the event, affiliated with the national nonprofit conference organizer “Ted.” Presenters spoke of the innovation required in an era of standardized tests. As schools have seen the arts squeezed out of their schedules in favor of academics, several speakers argued for preserving the critical role of art in education.
Over the last 12 years, the USDA has settled landmark loan discrimination cases brought by black and Native American farmers. Now they’re offering $1.3 billion to Hispanic and women farmers to resolve discrimination that took place between 1981 and 2000. Yet many ranchers in the Southwest say it’s an unfair process that doesn’t go far enough to address past discrimination.
New Mexico’s K through 12 grade schools earned a middling C in the latest Quality Counts survey from EDUCATION WEEK.
But that average obscures bright spots as well as areas of deep distress within the state’s school system.
This year’s survey suggests that New Mexico’s public schools benefit from average to above average financial and administrative support. For example, the state ranks 30th in the nation in school financing and 15th in the nation – with a grade of A minus - in how well education standards are administered and assessed.
Agricultural officials were in Bernalillo County Tuesday to encourage Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers to apply to a fund to address past discrimination. Affected farmers denied federal loans can apply for up to $250,000 in compensation.
Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture held a public meeting to explain the application process for filing claims.
Two local teachers unions have petitioned the New Mexico Supreme Court to stop a new teacher evaluation system.
The Albuquerque Teachers Federation and American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico assert that the actions of Governor Martinez and Secretary-designate of Education Hanna Skandera violate the state Constitution. The writ, which was filed last week, argues that the legislature should approve changes in teacher evaluation, not the executive branch.
Manny Bernal immigrated to El Paso from Chihuahua at the age of 12. He describes school then as “horrible,” because he didn’t speak any English. He says he was an “outcast.” But after his freshman year, he entered the bilingual program at his high school. He says, “It gives me a chance to keep my identity. It’s like a comfort zone. It’s like a place where you know you won’t get harassed. Where you’re just safe.”
The "deferred action" plan enacted in June by the Obama administration offers certain undocumented young people two years of legal status to study or work. Undocumented students in New Mexico already have access to college. But many face difficult choices once they leave school.
It’s 8:30 a.m. and high school students are gathering at the entrance to South Valley Academy charter school in Albuquerque.
Students crossing campus switch between Spanish and English and a group of boys plays soccer on the basketball court.
New Mexico – Nancy Coonridge is passionate about cheese. She's been raising goats and making organic goat cheese for 28 years on her homestead in rural south-western New Mexico. Each year she invites folks to visit her farm and dive into cheese-making.
Albuquerque, NM – The City of Albuquerque hosted its first annual Celebrate Seed New Mexico event in Old Town recently. KUNM producer Sara Van Note was there and brings us this audio postcard of people who came to share seeds at the community seed exchange.