August 20, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Beverly Friedman
Public Information Officer


Secretary Garcia Announces Her Intention to Suspend Charter Boards’ Authority


Santa Fe - Education Secretary Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, provided formal notice Friday, August 19, 2005, to the Boards of the Albuquerque Charter Vocational High School and the Charter Vo-Tech Center of her intention to suspend their governing authority.

The Boards have 30 days to correct deficiencies in the areas of their fiscal oversight, student reporting, governance responsibilities, financial controls, and use of public school property.

Secretary Garcia’s action follows a two month-long investigation of allegations conducted by the Albuquerque Public Schools and the Public Education Department’s Office of Inspector General.

Secretary Garcia stated, “ I am committed to the principle that all public schools in New Mexico, including charter schools, must be accountable and conduct themselves in a manner that instills public confidence in their educational programs, staff, and use of public funds and property. Because of this commitment, I am taking this action.”

“In addition to sound fiscal management, my primary concern is for the education of the students enrolled in these two schools. Since these schools have principals and are fully staffed, the educational programs in both schools should be able to continue,” said Secretary Garcia.

This is the first time that Secretary Garcia has acted to suspend the authority of any charter school board.

Prior to the final action to suspend the schools’ authority, Secretary Garcia must consult with the Public Education Commission (PEC). The PEC can make alternative recommendations to full suspension.