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Morning Word: National Press Digs in on Guv's Veto

April 18, 2017, 7:30 am

Washington Post spotlights Martinez higher ed veto
The national newspaper took a long look at the impact of Susana Martinez' veto of all higher education funding for next year. Martinez used the move in an apparent effort to force the Legislature's hand and get lawmakers to pass a budget that doesn't need more taxes or fees to pay for it, instead pushing cuts to school cash balances and benefits to state workers. 

Middle school sports cuts at APS may be just a first step
Albuquerque Public Schools, like many across the state, is staring down a budget cut next year. The superintendent's decision to save $600,000 by eliminating sports programs like basketball, volleyball and track from middle schools was a shocker, but Superintendent Raquel Reedy told the school board the district still has millions of dollars in cuts still to come.

Parents protest EJ Martinez, Nava closures
In Santa Fe, parents marched on school district offices to voice worry over the potential closure of two elementary schools. The district has been talking about the possibility since December, but it got a whole lot more real last week when SFPS told schools the plan was likely. The superintendent says it's not set in stone, but enrollment numbers and funding make it hard to avoid.

How to better measure school performance
New Mexico got a mention in an Associated Press article picked up by the New York Times that details how states are coming up with new ways to evaluate schools. The AP reports the state will try to track remedial courses taken at colleges and universities and link those to the high school in an effort to improve learning. The state also told the paper it will use science scores to evaluate students. Apparently that will happen with science standards that are based on decades-old learning methods.

Former Indian Market head admits embezzlement, avoids guilty plea
Santa Fe District Attorney Marco Serna says John Torres Nez, who was CEO of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, will admit embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a fundraiser meant to benefit victims of a 2011 Japanese tsunami. The pre-prosecution agreement allows Torres Nez to avoid jail and have a more realistic chance of paying back the money. It also lets him avoid a formal guilty plea in court.

SF mayor admits botched cost estimate of city employee pay hike 
Budget hearings began anew yesterday, and featured staff recommending a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment to city employees. That's a far cry from the 5 percent raises Mayor Javier Gonzales proposed in a speech earlier this year. Gonzales says it was a mistake and the city can't afford the pay hike he proposed.

Bears! Run for the hills! Wait ...
It's spring, which means bears wake up at the top of the food chain despite doing absolutely nothing all winter. This is supposed to be a good year for bear activity, which means if you've recently taken to hiking in the mountains and forests, you should take care to not get in between a mother and her cubs.

NMSU hires new mens basketball coach
New Mexico State found a coach with the kind of record on the court that it covets and the kind of history off it most would prefer to avoid. Chris Jans, an assistant coach at Wichita State's upstart basketball program, didn't shy away from either one in his first press conference.

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders if New Mexico would prefer pancakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes or hotcakes this morning.

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