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Education

  • Minimum retirement age of 55 proposed for teachers

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's retirement program for teachers and college faculty proposes to improve its long-term finances by establishing a minimum retirement age of 55 for educators and limiting cost-of-living increases for retirees.

    The Educational Retirement Board voted Monday to recommend the proposals to the Legislature, which has to change state law to implement any pension revisions.

    The retirement program covers 97,000 current workers and retirees.

    Most educators can retire with full benefits at any age after working at least 25 years, although that has increased to 30 years for those hired starting in July 2010. The proposed minimum retirement age would not apply to workers within 10 years of retirement.

  • Legislative report faults state school funding system

    SANTA FE— New Mexico needs to revamp how it distributes more than $2 billion a year in taxpayer money to public schools because the current system is too complicated, difficult to administer and shortchanges needy students, according to a report released Wednesday.
    Two legislative committees issued the report critical of the state’s school funding formula, which was established in the 1970s and is supposed to treat districts equitably. Nearly half of the state’s annual budget goes to pay for operations of New Mexico’s more than 170 school districts and charter schools.

  • Construction delays dominate session

    Just like the song that never ends, call the work being done at Los Alamos High School the project that never ends.  Another deadline has been pushed out a week and now the administration department, Family and Consumer Science and nurse’s office will have to wait until Nov. 21 to move into their new digs.

    During Tuesday night’s school board meeting at Los Alamos High School, David Wharram, Gerald Martin owner’s representative for Gerald Martin construction, told board members that despite the schedule issued by Flintco, the move-in would have to be delayed a week.

    “Flintco said the school facilities would be ready to move in on the 14th, but not all the systems may be working,” he said.

  • Board looks at performance indicators

    Community colleges are having a positive impact in New Mexico based on a number of performance indicators that were reviewed during The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Advisory Board meeting Monday night on the UNM-LA campus.

    UNM-LA Executive Director Dr. Cedric Page spoke about personnel matters and the college’s annual performance report. He presented a report about New Mexico community colleges that showed the results of community college performance-based indicators.

  • Educators question rules for grading schools A-F

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Educators are cautioning Gov. Susana Martinez's administration against rushing the implementation of a new law that will assign grades A to F to rate the performance of public schools.

    Teachers, superintendents and others raised questions Monday about proposed rules by the Public Education Department for the school rating system enacted earlier this year.

    Gloria Rendon of the Coalition of School Administrators suggested the new grading system initially be implemented in a few schools to serve as a pilot for working out potential problems.

  • Educators question rules for grading schools A-F

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Educators are cautioning Gov. Susana Martinez's administration against rushing the implementation of a new law that will assign grades A to F to rate the performance of public schools.

    Teachers, superintendents and others raised questions Monday about proposed rules by the Public Education Department for the school rating system enacted earlier this year.

    Gloria Rendon of the Coalition of School Administrators suggested the new grading system initially be implemented in a few schools to serve as a pilot for working out potential problems.

  • Miracle of technology helps girl to qualify

    Sruthi Garimella, a fourth grader in Jonathan Neal’s class at Barranca Mesa Elementary School, competed in her class’ spelling bee Monday and successfully qualified for the school spelling bee despite being in Paris, France.

    She was able to compete in this intercontinental spelling bee through the magic of Internet video conference.  Along with Garimella, Eli Iramk-Bent, Isaac Ronning, and Kaylee Rogers also placed in the top four slots of Neal’s fourth grade class, qualifying all of them to compete in the school spelling bee.

  • Board votes to ratify leases

    The Los Alamos Public Education Board met in a special session Wednesday afternoon to discuss disposal of assets, approve an easement and finalize two lease agreements.

    The meeting moved swiftly, with board members Melanie McKinley, Kevin Honnell, Dawn Venhaus and David Foster unanimously approving the disposal of assets. Judith Bjarke McKenzie was not present.

    The items slated for disposal included old computers that need to be recycled because they have outlived their usefulness and some older fleet vehicles that are going to be put up for auction.

    They also approved an easement at the high school, requested by Los Alamos County and approved a lease agreement with PM Tech, to rent suite T at 2075 Trinity Drive.

  • Lunch program gets green light

    Help is on the way for some children that attend Los Alamos Public Schools and qualify for free and reduced price lunches, but not everyone who qualifies will be able to take advantage of the program.

    At least not yet.

    During the Tuesday Los Alamos Board of Education meeting, and supported by Mountain Elementary Principal Gerry Washburn, board members voted 5-0 in favor of starting a free and reduced price lunch pilot program at Mountain.

    The discussion originally focused on what it would take to bring the program to all LAPS schools; however Chief Financial Officer John Wolfe told board members that a lot of work would need to be done if they decided to roll out the program district-wide.

  • Local students follow parents to Washington

    A group of Los Alamos Middle School students first jetted off to Washington, D.C. 31 years ago – creating an annual tradition that continues to this day.

    “For the last three years, I have been taking the eighth grade children of some of the students who went on that first trip, so this is exciting to me,” said former Los Alamos Middle School teacher Roberta Cocking.

    “After my retirement, parents begged me to continue hosting these trips, which I have done and plan to do until I can no longer find anyone willing to push my wheelchair around D.C.”

    Cocking and Terry Quinn, also a former LAMS teacher, initiated these excursions to the nation’s capital in 1980. They are independent from school district activities.