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     Plaintiff and Attorney in Education Lawsuit, Journalist Geoff Grammer on
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>> FUNDING FOR NEW MEXICO INFOCUS PROVIDED BY THE MCCUNE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THIS WEEK ON NEW MEXICO INFOCUS, WE HEAR FROM A KEY PLAINTIFF IN A MAJOR LAWSUIT ABOUT EDUCATION. >> HE WASN'T ABLE TO BRING TEXTBOOKS HOME FROM SCHOOL TO DO HOMEWORK, AND, OF COURSE, THEY ALWAYS HAVE HOMEWORK AND HE SHARED TEXTBOOKS. >> AND SPORTS WRITER JEFF GRAMMAR ON COVERING UNM ATHLETICS. >> NEW MEXICO INFOCUS STARTS NOW. >> WELCOME TO NEW MEXICO INFOCUS. LATER THIS HOUR, THE LINE OPINION PANEL LOOKS AT FALLOUT AFTER UNM REGENTS APPROVED A PLAN TO CUT FOUR UNM SPORTS AND DISCUSS WHAT IS NEXT IN THE WAKE OF THE JUDGE'S RULINGS ON AN IMPORTANT EDUCATION LAWSUIT. BUT FIRST WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THAT CASE. JUDGE SINGLETON RULED LAST WEEK IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFFS THAT NEW MEXICO IS
NOT ADEQUATELY FUNDING EDUCATION. THE JUDGE GAVE STATE OFFICIALS A DEADLINE IN SPRING OF 2019 TO CREATE A PLAN TO ADDRESS ISSUES IN SCHOOLS ACROSS THE STATE. SARAH GUSTAVUS SAT DOWN WITH A PLAINTIFF AND ATTORNEY TO DISCUSS WHAT LED TO THE LAWSUIT. >> EDUCATION IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE IN NEW MEXICO, BUT BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT WHAT LAWMAKERS AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS MIGHT DO TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES RAISED IN A LAWSUIT, WE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT HOW WE GOT HERE. WILHEMENA YAZZIE IS A PARENT AND PLAINTIFF IN YAZZIE VS STATE OF NEW MEXICO. THANKS FOR STOPPING BY. >> DEFINITELY. >> PRESTON SANCHEZ IS AN ATTORNEY AT NEW MEXICO CENTER OF LAW AND POVERTY. THANKS FOR BEING HERE. >> I WANT TO START WITH YOU, YOUR SON WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL IF GALLUP WHEN THE LAWSUIT STARTED. WHAT CONCERNS DID YOU HAVE ABOUT THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION HE WAS RECEIVING? >> WELL ACTUALLY, MY SON WAS IN ELEMENTARY FIFTH GRADE WHEN IT STARTED. >> THAT FAR BACK. PARENT, MY CHILD AT THE TIME, I FELT LIKE HE WASN'T
RECEIVING ADEQUATE AND SUFFICIENT RESOURCES THAT HE NEEDED IN ORDER FOR HIM TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND ESPECIALLY GOING INTO MID SCHOOL AND ON TO HIGH SCHOOL I WANTED HIM TO BE, YOU KNOW, COLLEGE READY, BE PREPARED FOR LIFE OUTSIDE, WHEN HE GETS OLDER. AS A NATIVE AMERICAN WOMAN, A NAVAJO, WE CONSIDER OUR CHILDREN SACRED AND THAT IS ONE OF OUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES TO OUR CHILDREN THAT WE MAKE SURE WE TEACH THEM THE CORRECT, YOU KNOW, PRINCIPLES OF LIFE AND ALSO TO PROTECT THEM. THAT IS OUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THAT IS WHY I HAD SOME CONCERNS WITHIN THE SCHOOLS THAT HE WAS ATTENDING, TO MAKE SURE WE ENSURED THAT HE RECEIVED THE QUALITY EDUCATION THAT HE WAS ENTITLED TO. >> WERE YOU CONCERNED EVEN IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THAT HE WAS FALLING BEHIND? >> ACTUALLY, MY SON WAS
ACTUALLY DOING VERY WELL. HE WAS GETTING GOOD GRADES AND DOING VERY WELL BUT THEN WHEN IT CAME TO TESTING, HE FELL BELOW THE PASSING GRADE LEVEL AND THAT WAS A LITTLE, YOU KNOW, CONCERN FOR ME BECAUSE HE WAS DOING GOOD BUT WHEN IT CAME TO TESTING HE WASN'T DOING SO GOOD AND HE WASN'T LIKE WHERE HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE AT, SO THAT RIGHT THERE WAS A BIG FLAG FOR ME IN THINKING, OKAY, WELL, WHAT IS IT THAT HE NEEDS IN ORDER FOR HIM TO GET PAST THE TESTINGS. SO, FROM THERE, YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST MORE RESOURCES THAT HE'LL NEED AND ALSO WITH OUR CULTURAL, WITH THE CULTURAL RELEVANT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT HE NEEDS AND THE LANGUAGE THAT WE SPEAK AT HOME, OF COURSE, AND THOSE KINDS OF BARRIERS THAT HE NEEDS TO BE ASSISTED WITH, I GUESS. >> DID YOU FEEL HEARD WHEN YOU WENT TO SCHOOL TO TALK ABOUT
YOUR SON'S EDUCATION? >> SEVERAL TIMES I HAVE GONE TO THE PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES. THIS WAS ONE THING I ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO, TO MAKE SURE THAT MY SON WAS DOING WHAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING, BEHAVIOR WISE AND EDUCATIONAL ACADEMIC, THAT HE WAS PASSING, DOING WHAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING AND SO FORTH. AT ONE POINT, YOU KNOW, MY SON WAS DOING VERY GOOD, GETTING GOOD GRADES, HONOR ROLE, I WAS KIND OF CONCERNED THAT HE WASN'T PLACED IN LIKE MORE ADVANCED CLASSES. SO, I BROUGHT THAT UP TO ONE OF THE COUNSELORS, YOU KNOW, HOW DOES A CHILD OR A STUDENT, HOW DO YOU DETERMINE HOW THEY GET IN ADVANCED CLASS? I DIDN'T REALLY GET ANY ANSWERS. IT WAS JUST BASICALLY, WELL WE LOOK AT YOUR CHILD'S GRADES AND THE TESTING AND IT WAS A BIT CONFUSING FOR ME BUT I KIND OF LEFT IT AT THAT AND THOUGHT XAVIER, DO YOUR BEST ANYWAY, JUST KEEP DOING YOUR BEST. AND OTHER CONCERNS THAT I HAD
WAS LIKE TEXTBOOKS. HE WASN'T ABLE TO BRING ANY TEXTBOOKS HOME FROM SCHOOL TO DO HOMEWORK AND OF COURSE, THEY ALWAYS HAD HOMEWORK AND HE SHARED TEXTBOOKS, SOMETIMES, SOME OF THE INSTRUCTORS OR TEACHERS WAS NICE ENOUGH TO MAKE A COPY, MAYBE ON THEIR OWN, OF CERTAIN SECTIONS THEY ARE COVERING SO THAT WAS HELPFUL. OTHER THINGS I SAW WAS MAYBE TECHNOLOGY, LIMITED TECHNOLOGY, AND IT'S NOT JUST FOR MY SON. IT IS ACTUALLY FOR OTHER CHILDREN IN OUR COMMUNITY AND THE STATE AND NATION, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE GOING TO SCHOOL IN THE RURAL AREAS. WE HAVE VERY LIMITED ACCESS TO A LOT OF THE RESOURCES THAT MY SON HAD AND YOU KNOW THE BIGGER TOWNS, THAT WAS SOMETHING, I HAVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND CHILDREN THAT GO TO THESE RURAL AREA SCHOOLS AND SAME THING, LIMITED TEXTBOOKS, MATERIALS, AND THEN WITH THE TECHNOLOGY, YOU KNOW, IMPROVING AND ALL THAT, THEY
HAVE LIMITED ACCESS TO WIFI, SUCH THINGS LIKE THAT, SO THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, SOME CONCERNS THAT I HAD WITH XAVIER AND MOST IMPORTANTLY WAS JUST BASICALLY MAKING SURE THAT HE IS PREPARED WHEN HE GETS AT THE HIGH SCHOOL THAT HE HOPEFULLY GRADUATES BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WITH THIS TESTING, WITH HIM GOING BELOW THE GRADE LEVEL, IT'S A BIT CONCERNING AND I WANT HIM TO PASS, YOU KNOW, AND TO GRADUATE AND I WANT HIM TO GET TO COLLEGE AND MY SON HAS DREAMS, YOU KNOW, HE HAS BIG DREAMS. HE WANTS TO GO TO A BIG COLLEGE. HE WANTS A CAREER, HE WANTS TO DO THIS AND THAT AND I THINK WITHIN OUR CULTURE EDUCATION IS A VERY IMPORTANT THING SO THAT IS PRETTY MUCH -- >> WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THAT LEAP INTO BEING PART
OF THIS LAWSUIT? >> SO, THOSE ARE THE CONCERNS THAT I HAD ORIGINALLY AND OF COURSE EVERY OTHER CHILD IN THE STATE AND OUR COMMUNITY AND ESPECIALLY WITH US WITHIN THE NATIVE AMERICAN, ANOTHER THING THAT PUSHED ME WAS MY MOM WAS AN EDUCATOR FOR 30 PLUS YEARS. SHE WAS A TEACHER AND EDUCATION WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN OUR FAMILY AND SHE ALWAYS PUSHED US, SIBLINGS, TO GO GET TO SCHOOL, GET YOUR EDUCATION AND DURING MY SCHOOL YEARS, WE WERE VERY LIMITED. YOU KNOW. HOW THAT IS AND SO EDUCATION IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT. ANOTHER THING IS, YOU KNOW, WITH OUR CULTURE AND OUR HISTORY, ONE OF THE GREAT WARRIORS, CHIEF BACK, THEN DID A QUOTE, I DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS PRECISELY RIGHT, BUT SAID
MY GRANDCHILDREN, GO OUT AND CLIMB THE LADDER OF EDUCATION, GO SUCCEED SO YOU CAN COME BACK AND HELP OUR PEOPLE AND HELP OUR NATION. AND THAT WAS ONE THING WAS SET IN OUR FAMILY, WAS EDUCATION WAS VERY IMPORTANT. SO, THAT IS WHY I BECAME A PLAINTIFF IN THIS SUIT JUST PRIMARILY THE REASON THAT MY SON DESERVED THE QUALITY EDUCATION THAT HE NEEDS IN ORDER TO SUCCEED. >> TO REACH THE DREAMS HE HAS FOR THEMSELVES. >> PRESTON, THIS IS TWO COMBINED LAWSUITS THAT THE JUDGE RULED ON INCLUDING NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENTS AND ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS, ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. THAT SEEMS VERY BROAD. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN IN PUTTING UP A LAWSUIT LIKE? WAS THAT A CHALLENGE, AN ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE, TO HAVE IT INCLUDE SO MANY STUDENTS. >> WELL, YOU KNOW, SO THE TAKE THAT WE HAVE IS, OUR POSITION IN THIS CASE IS THAT ALL STUDENTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO
LEARN, ALL STUDENTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO LEARN AND IT IS JUST AS GREAT IN TERMS OF POTENTIAL AS OTHER STATES AND OTHER NATIONS, AND SO THE THING THAT IS HAPPENING HERE IN NEW MEXICO, THOUGH, IS THAT WE ARE STARVED FOR RESOURCES OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO SUCCEED ACADEMICALLY AS WILHEMENA HAS DESCRIBED. AND SO, PUTTING TOGETHER THIS CASE MEANT THAT WE HAD TO SORT OF THINK ABOUT THE NEEDS OF ALL STUDENTS AND THE STUDENTS -- STUDENTS HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS. ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER STUDENTS HAVE NEEDS WHEN IT COMES TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION PROGRAMS. ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS TEND TO HAVE NEEDS AROUND SOCIO-EMOTIONAL CAREER COUNSELING KIND OF NEEDS AND THEN AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS, AS WELL, SHARE A HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION BY EDUCATION SYSTEMS THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED THROUGH THE EDUCATION SYSTEM TODAY. AND SO WE SOUGHT TO SORT OF CAPTURE ALL OF THOSE NEEDS AS WELL AS JUST THE GENERAL NEEDS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN NEW MEXICO. >> WILHEMENA MENTIONED A LACK OF TEXTBOOKS. IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE IS PART
OF THIS LAWSUIT IS JUST THE ACTUAL MATERIALS THAT THE STATE NEEDS TO PROVIDE FOR FUNDING FOR TEXTBOOKS, FOR TECHNOLOGY, FOR COMPUTERS, THINGS LIKE THAT CORRECT. >> CORRECT. >> WHAT ABOUT CULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM. WE TALKED ABOUT THAT HERE ON NEW MEXICO INFOCUS, THE NEED TO BETTER INCORPORATE CULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM FOR STUDENTS. HOW DOES THE LAWSUIT SPEAK TO THAT? >> GOOD QUESTION, SO, THE CASE -- THE COURT IN ITS OPINION HAS STATED SPECIFICALLY FOR AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS THAT COMPLIANCE WITH NEW MEXICO INDIAN EDUCATION ACT IS THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT. A VIOLATION OF THE NEW MEXICO INDIAN EDUCATION ACT IS A VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CLAUSE. THAT IS HUGE FOR NEW MEXICO STUDENTS, HUGE FOR NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENTS, BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK AT THE LAW ITSELF, IT REQUIRES CONSTITUTION -- IT REQUIRES CULTURALLY RELEVANT AND CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE EDUCATION, SPECIFICALLY, FOR THE DISTRICTS THAT SERVE HIGHEST POPULATIONS OF
AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS. SO, THAT IS ONE ELEMENT OF THIS CASE IS COMPLIANCE WITH THAT LAW BUT THE COURT ALSO ADDRESSES ITS OPINION TO THE HISPANIC EDUCATIONAL ACT, BILINGUAL MULTICULTURAL ACT. THESE ARE ALL LAWS THAT PROVIDE GOALS FOR STUDENTS IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY SHOULD ACHIEVE ACADEMICALLY AND WHAT THEY SHOULD BE ACHIEVING CULTURALLY AND THESE ARE NOW A PART OF THIS EQUATION. AND SO WE SEEK TO ENSURE THAT THESE LAWS ARE BEING COMPLIED WITH. >> THAT IS A VERY BIG PICTURE. IN THE CLASSROOM DOES THAT MEAN LANGUAGE CLASSES, DOES THAT MEAN OUTREACH TO PARENTS, YOU KNOW, I HAVE HEARD OF SCHOOLS HIRING NATIVE PEOPLE TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH PARENTS AND FAMILIES AND MAKE SURE THEY FEEL INCLUDED IN THE EDUCATION PROCESS. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? >> GENERALLY, THAT IS ALL TRUE, YES, IT REQUIRES ALL OF THOSE THINGS. WHEN YOU GET INTO THE MORE NITTY-GRITTY DETAILS IT REQUIRES A LOT OF COLLABORATION WITH TRIBES. THE 22 TRIBAL NATIONS IN NEW MEXICO HAVE A VOICE AND THAT VOICE HAS TO BE HEARD AND WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO IS WORKING WITH
THE PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND BY THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, I MEAN THE LEGISLATIVE BODY. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, PED, AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS COLLABORATE WITH THE TRIBAL LEADERSHIP AND TRIBAL COMMUNITIES TO ENSURE THOSE KIND OF THINGS ARE PROVIDED, CULTURALLY RELEVANT LEARNING MATERIALS, CULTURALLY RELEVANT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, BOOKS THAT FOCUS ON THE HISTORICAL CONTRIBUTIONS MADE BY SOUTHWEST INDIANS TO THE U.S. THESE ARE THINGS THAT SEEM BASIC THAT BUT ARE LEFT OUT OF THE EQUATION FOR FAR TOO LONG. >> WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC THINGS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE CLASSROOM THAT SPEAK TO CULTURAL RELEVANCE? >> I LIKE ALL THE SCHOOLS, YOU KNOW, IT IS JUST A DIVERSE COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY WHERE I AM FROM, AND WE HAVE THE RURAL I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE CHANGE OF MAYBE MORE RESOURCES GIVEN TO OUR STUDENTS AND ALSO WE CAN'T FORGET OUR TEACHERS. .THEY ARE THERE TEACHING OUR
CHILDREN WHILE WE ARE NOT THERE AS PARENTS AND THEY DESERVE A LOT MORE SUPPORT. I FEEL LIKE THEY DO DESERVE MORE SUPPORT AND MORE TRAINING, SO THAT WAY THEY CAN GIVE OUR CHILDREN WHAT THEY DESERVE, YOU KNOW, GOOD EDUCATION, GET THEM PREPARED. THAT IS ONE THING, YOU KNOW, THAT MY SON HAS DREAMS AND HE WANTS TO BE THIS, WANTS TO DO THAT, WANTS TO GO TO A BIG COLLEGE, YOU KNOW, AND I AM THINKING, HERE, LIKE, WELL, I AM PREPARING HIM FROM A PARENT VIEW BUT I WOULD LIKE HIM TO BE PREPARED ACADEMICALLY AS WELL, KNOWING HE IS ABLE TO SUCCEED, WHERE HE CAN HAVE FAITH IN HIMSELF, YOU KNOW, AND STRIVE TO DO BEST -- TO DO THE BEST, SO WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IS, YOU KNOW, JUST MORE RESOURCES, GIVEN TO OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, TO OUR CHILDREN, TO OUR EDUCATORS, OUR TEACHERS. >> WILL IT BE MEANINGFUL FOR YOU TO SEE A NAVAJO CULTURE AND HISTORY INCORPORATED INTO THE CLASSROOM TO GO ALONGSIDE
THE OTHER THINGS LIKE STUDENTS LIKE YOUR SON ARE LEARNING. >> DEFINITELY. THAT IS ONE THING IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN ESPECIALLY IN THE NATIVE AMERICAN VIEW TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE, WHERE THEY COME FROM, HOW THEY STAND WITHIN THEIR FAMILIES, THEIR NATION. THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US. I ALWAYS TELL MY CHILDREN, YOU KNOW, I GREW UP LEARNING NAVAJO AND THEN I LEARNED ENGLISH AS I GOT TO SCHOOL SO I AM ALWAYS TEACHING MY CHILDREN THEIR LANGUAGE. MY OF SON FAVORS NAVAJO AND MY PARTNER IS LAKOTA AND NOW WE HAVE TO TEACH LAKOTA. WE NEED TO TEACH. I DO MY BEST TO TEACH MY CHILDREN THE NAVAJO LANGUAGE AND, YOU KNOW, AS I GO BACK, MY MOTHER WAS AN EDUCATOR AND SHE WAS PROBABLY THE ONE THAT WOULD REALLY HAVE TAUGHT MY CHILDREN.
SHE IS GONE NOW. BUT SHE LEFT A LEGACY OF BEING A TEACHER, EDUCATION, ALL THAT, SO, YEAH, SO THAT IS WHY I LIKE TO SEE MORE CULTURAL, YOU KNOW, RELEVANT MATERIALS IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM. >> YEAH, PRESTON, WHAT OTHER KEY POINTS IN THE JUDGE'S RULING THAT WE SHOULD TAKE NOTE OF AS WE WATCH THIS UNFOLD IN THE COMING MONTHS? >> SO, I THINK WHAT THE COURT HAS SAID ESSENTIALLY IS THAT SUFFICIENT EDUCATION, A SUFFICIENT EDUCATION IS A THEREFORE SUFFICIENT FUNDING IS A PRIORITY AND SO, THEREFORE, WE CAN'T SORT OF NEGLECT THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES THAT NEED TO BE INCORPORATED INTO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO FULLY EFFECTUATE WHAT THE ORDER HAS REQUIRED OF NEW MEXICO. SOME WOULD ASK, WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS? WHAT THE COURT HAS SAID IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT -- I AM SORRY, A SUFFICIENT EDUCATION
IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AND BECAUSE IT DESERVES PRIORITY FUNDING, YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE THE KIND OF FUNDS SO THAT IT DOESN'T DEPRIVE STUDENTS OF A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. THAT SEEMS A LITTLE BIT CIRCULAR BUT WHAT THE COURT HAS OFFERED IS SOURCES OF REVENUE THAT COULD GIVE THE LEGISLATURE SOMETHING TO LOOK AT AND THINK ABOUT AND SHE GAVE 11 SORT OF DIFFERENT SOURCES OF REVENUE THE STATE CAN SORT OF CONSIDER IN TERMS OF HOW IT WILL SUFFICIENTLY EDUCATE STUDENTS AND WHAT IT WILL DUMP INTO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM TO ENSURE STUDENTS ARE NOW PREPARED TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY. >> IT SEEMS LIKE WE MIGHT BE DEBATING THE DEFINITION OF SUFFICIENT FOR A WHILE. THERE MIGHT BE A LOT OF DISCUSSION AROUND THAT. >> DEBATING? >> YEAH, SOME PARENTS MIGHT SAY, SUFFICIENT TO ME, LIKE THEY MIGHT HAVE IDEAS ABOUT WHAT SUFFICIENT LOOKS LIKE, AND THERE MAY BE DISCUSSION ABOUT, IF THE STATE COMES BACK WITH A PLAN AND DO PARENTS FEEL LIKE THAT IS ACTUALLY MEETING WHAT THEY WANT FOR THEIR KIDS. >> THE COURT HAS PLACED IN ITS ORDERS LANGUAGE THAT WOULD REQUIRE MONITORING, MONITORING
OF THE PUBLIC EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND THE STATE'S EFFORTS TO ENSURE THAT STUDENTS ARE BEING PROVIDED A CONSTITUTIONAL EDUCATION. THAT MONITORING BY THE JUDGE WOULD HAPPEN IN SORT OF A TIMETABLE AND SO THE JUDGE WOULD REQUIRE THE STATE-WIDE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN BY THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO TO DEVELOP THAT PLAN, PASS IT TO THE JUDGE, MAKE SURE SHE IS FINE WITH IT AND THEN ALLOW IT TO SORT OF -- TO BE IMPLEMENTED AND MONITORED OVER TIME TO ENSURE THE SUFFICIENT EDUCATION IS BEING MAINTAINED. >> OKAY. WE'LL HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THAT AS IT DEVELOPS. >> WILHEMENA, I WANT TO GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD. WHAT CHANGES -- I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE THESE HOPES FOR ALL CHILDREN IN NEW MEXICO, INCLUDING YOUR OWN CHILDREN, BUT WHAT WOULD BE MEANINGFUL FOR YOU WHEN THINGS ARE DIFFERENT. >> THAT IS GOING TO MAKE ME FEEL GOOD, KNOWING THAT MY CHILD CAN GO ONTO COLLEGE, BE COLLEGE READY AND GO ON TO LIFE AND LEAD AND COME BACK AND HELP OUR PEOPLE AND EVEN THE STATE.
MY SON DESERVES JUST LIKE ANY OTHER CHILD IN THE NATION, QUALITY EDUCATION, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED AND THAT IS BASICALLY JUST WHAT WE WANT IS JUST THAT OUR CHILD -- THAT OUR CHILDREN GET THE HELP THEY NEED, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR BACKGROUND IS. >> DO YOU THINK IF PARENTS HAVE A MORE OF A CHANCE TO WEIGH IN ON THE ISSUES AND WHAT CHANGES WOULD LOOK LIKE IT WOULD BE MORE SUCCESSFUL? >> I BELIEVE SO, YEAH. I MEAN, WITH NATIVE AMERICANS, I THINK IF WE, YOU KNOW, VOICE OUR CONCERNS, GO TO THE SCHOOLS, GO TO PARENT TEACHERS CONFERENCES, ALL THAT STUFF, I THINK IT WILL WORK. IF WE WORK TOGETHER, IT WILL AND THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER. >> THAT IS TRUE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING BY THIS WEEK AND TALKING ABOUT THE LAWSUIT AND SHARING YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. WE'LL KEEP WATCHING THIS AND REPORTING IT ON NEW MEXICO INFOCUS. >> THANK YOU. >> WELCOME TO THE LINE. WE JUST HEARD JUDGE SARAH SINGLETON RULED THAT NEW MEXICO IS NOT ADEQUATELY FUNDING SCHOOLS AND MEETING
NEEDS OF ALL STUDENTS. THIS WEEK'S LINE PANELISTS ARE THE RULING AND WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN WHEN A NEW GOVERNOR TAKES OFFICE IN JANUARY. I AM JOINED BY MERRITT ALLEN, OF VOX OPTIMA, LLC. DAN MCKAY, HE'S A REPORTER WITH ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. ANDY LYMAN IS WITH US, NEW MEXICO POLITICAL REPORT. AND NEW DIRECTOR OF STATE OPERATIONS FOR COMMON CAUSE, VIKI HARRISON. CONGRATULATIONS. >> THANK YOU SO MUCH. >> HEATHER FERGUSON IS GOING TO DO AN AWESOME JOB. >> GOOD FOR YOU. >> START WITH YOU VIKI. THIS RULING IS GOING TO CHANGE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT EDUCATION IN NEW MEXICO. I AM GUESSING IT IS GOING TO BECAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF THINGS WE HAVE TO PARSE THROUGH. SIMPLY STARTING THERE, IS THIS THE THING THAT HAS JUDGE SINGLETON JUST LAID ON US THE ROAD MAP THAT WILL UNCORK MONEY, A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS? >> I THINK SHE DIDN'T UNLEASH A ROAD MAP BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T TELL US WHAT TO DO, AND BY GETTING THERE, I MEAN GETTING OUR SCHOOLS IN A BETTER PLACE WHERE OUR
STUDENTS ARE GETTING BETTER EDUCATION. I MEAN THIS WAS A HUGE LAWSUIT. I THINK IT IS GOING TO CHANGE THINGS. WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT EDUCATION. I HAVE BEEN LOBBYING IN SANTA FE FOR 25 YEARS. I DON'T REMEMBER A SINGLE SESSION WHERE EDUCATION WAS NOT ONE OF THE PRIORITIES. I THINK WHEN WE LOOK AT ALL THE STATISTICS AROUND THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN POVERTY IN THIS STATE, I DON'T THINK PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH. 71%. IT IS HUGE. AND THEN WE HAVE GOT OUR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES, OUR NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENTS, WE HAVE GOT STUDENTS WHO ARE LEARNING ENGLISH AND ADD ALL THAT IN AND I THINK BACK TO MY GRANDMA WHO WAS A SCHOOLTEACHER AND SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL THE OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES AND THINGS THAT PEOPLE NEED. I APPRECIATE SOME OF THE IDEAS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN FLOATED AROUND HAVING REAL SERVICES FOR STUDENTS, AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS, BEFORE SCHOOL
PROGRAMS, MAKING SURE -- I MEAN, WE HAVE DONE SO MUCH TO MAKE SURE OUR KIDS ARE FED, LET'S MAKE SURE THEY REALLY ARE FED THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER. LET'S TALK ABOUT YEAR ROUND SCHOOL. I AM NOT A PARENT BUT IF I WERE A PARENT, I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW YOU DO IT BECAUSE WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE SUMMER? YOU SUDDENLY HAVE A NEW EXPENSE, SOMETHING HAPPENS, THERE IS TEACHERS -- I JUST THINK THAT THERE IS A LOT AND THE NEW GOVERNOR, THIS IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE A PRIORITY WHICH IS GOING TO BE INTERESTING BECAUSE WITH A NEW GOVERNOR THERE IS ALREADY 40 OTHER PRIORITIES THAT LEGISLATORS ARE TALKING ABOUT FOR OUR 60-DAY SESSION. AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN MORE THAN FIVE PRIORITIES POSSIBLY MAKE IT THROUGH. >> TOUCH ON WHAT VIK JUST MENTIONED. SHE MENTIONED 76% LOW INCOME, 14% ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, 15% WITH DISABILITIES, 11% NATIVE AMERICANS. THERE IS A QUESTION HERE. THAT IS ROUGHLY, WHEN YOU LUMP IT ALTOGETHER, THAT IS 3/4 OF OUR STUDENTS.
SO WHAT IS SEEMINGLY COMING DOWN THE PIKE FROM JUDGE SINGLETON, YOU'RE TALKING A FAIRLY GOOD FINANCIAL NUT TO TURN THIS AROUND OR GET STUFF IN MOTION. LET'S START TO TALK ABOUT THAT. IS THE LEGISLATURE -- IS THIS A GOOD TIME TO BE TALKING ABOUT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS? OUR ECONOMY IS DOING BETTER. YOUR SENSE OF THE UPCOMING CONVERSATION. >> THERE IS PROBABLY NEVER REALLY A GOOD TIME FOR THE EXPENSE BUT IT CERTAINLY IS BETTER NOW THAN TWO YEARS AGO, WE ARE COMING OFF AN ENORMOUS FINANCIAL CRUNCH, DAMAGED CREDIT RATING AND DEPLETED RESERVES. THINGS HAVE TURNED AROUND FINANCIALLY SO THERE IS MORE BREATHING ROOM. ONE OF THE BIG FEARS THAT LEGISLATORS HAVE IS REVENUE IS SO VOLATILE THAT IF THEY MAKE A COMMITMENT TO EXPANDED ONGOING EXPENSES THEN THEY HAVE TO CARRY THEM THROUGH FUTURE YEARS EVEN IF OIL AND GAS ISN'T BRINGING IN SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY.
SO, COULD BE THEY'LL SEARCH FOR DIFFERENT KIND OF REVENUE SOURCES, TAX REFORM, CHANGING WHERE THE STATE GETS ITS MONEY, MAYBE EVEN A TAX INCREASE, WITHDRAWING MORE FROM THE PERMANENT FUND. I DON'T KNOW THERE IS A LEADING CONTENDER BUT IT IS GOING TO BE A VIGOROUS DISCUSSION. >> AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT YOU JUST TICKED OFF, THAT HASN'T BEEN PREVIOUSLY TALKED ABOUT. THIS SEEMS TO HAVE UNCORKED SOMETHING HERE, THAT PEOPLE, ANDY, ARE NOW STARTING TO TALK ABOUT DIFFERENT IDEAS TO PAY FOR THINGS IN WAYS WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT BEFORE. WE HAVE GOT THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION APPEALING THE SITUATION. I AM CONFUSED WHAT THEY ARE APPEALING HERE; CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR KIDS TO HAVE AN EDUCATION? THAT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE A WINNING APPEAL. WHAT IS THE POINT THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE? >> I HATE TO TRY TO GUESS WHAT THEIR MOTIVATION IS BUT WHEN YOU SEE COURT PROCEEDINGS LIKE THIS, A LOT OF TIMES, I SEE PEOPLE APPEAL CASES JUST BECAUSE THEY WANT TO GET THE SOMETIMES IT MIGHT BE AN ISSUE WHERE WE HAVE TO TAKE IT, JUST WHAT OUR DUTY IS AS THE STATE TO KEEP DOING THIS. IT IS UP TO COURTS -- SHE SAID
SHE WOULDN'T STOP THE APPEAL. I THINK THAT IS THEIR PREROGATIVE BUT SOMETIMES YOU WANT TO TAKE IT TO AS FAR AS YOU CAN GO AND GET A FINAL DECISION, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF AMBIGUITY ABOUT WHAT IS EXPECTED. >> GOOD POINT THERE. MERRITT PICK UP ON THAT. AGAIN, WHERE IS THIS ADMINISTRATION COMING FROM AND WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER FOR THEM TO ACCEPT THE RULING, TAKE THE LAST FEW BITS OF THEIR TERM AND START THE PROCESS TO GET THE NEXT PERSON A RUNNING START? IN A PERFECT WORLD THAT WOULD WORK BUT WE ARE NOT IN A PERFECT WORLD. >> THE ISSUE I HAVE WITH THE ENTIRE LAWSUIT IS WITH THE DECADES OF INERTIA WE HAVE SCHOOLS, HOW DO WE EXPECT THE SAME PEOPLE, SAME ORGANIZATIONS TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? REACTION IS, WELL, WE'LL JUST THROW MORE MONEY AT IT. WHAT IF WE SPENT THE MONEY WE HAD MORE INTELLIGENTLY? WHAT IF WE LOOKED AT OVERHEAD COSTS VERSUS CLASSROOM COSTS AND THE PERMANENT FUND ALREADY
FUNDS 25% OF OUR SCHOOLS AND WE NEED THAT STABILITY. WE SPENT HALF OF OUR STATE BUDGET ON EDUCATION AND COME UP WITH THE SAME TERRIBLE RESULTS. SO, I GUESS, TO ME I THINK ANDY'S POINT THAT THE APPEAL MAY JUST BE A WAY TO HAVE THE LAST WORD. IT DOESN'T MATTER AND IT DOESN'T FIX THE CRISIS WE HAVE BEEN IN FOR DECADES. >> WHAT IF THE ANSWER ACTUALLY IS MORE MONEY, YOU KNOW? ISN'T IT WORTH TAKING A CHANCE? I REALIZE, THE PAST IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE, BUT WHAT IF WE ARE JUST AT THE THRESHOLD WITH MORE MONEY TO PUT THINGS IN MOTION. >> WE HAVE BEEN IN CONSTANT EDUCATION REFORM SINCE 2002 WITH COMMON CAUSE AND THEN WE WENT TO PARCC AND WE ARE NOT SEEING THE RESULTS, SO, I GUESS, I AM KIND OF SCRATCHING MY HEAD, IF THERE IS MONEY TO PUT TOWARD IT, WHAT IS THE
RIGHT PROGRAM? WHAT IS THE RIGHT ANSWER, I DON'T KNOW. BECAUSE, WE HAVE THROWING MONEY AT THIS THING FOR DECADES WITH ABYSMAL RESULTS THAT CONTINUE THE CYCLE OF POVERTY, BECAUSE WE DID NOT PREPARE OUR CHILDREN FOR THE WORKFORCE. >> I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE TALKED ABOUT WITH ANY ISSUE, FIND SOMEBODY WHO IS DOING IT WELL AND TALK TO THEM. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. THERE ARE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, WHETHER IN NEW MEXICO OR ELSEWHERE, THAT ARE GETTING BETTER RESULTS. TALK TO THEM. FIGURE OUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? IT IS THE WHOLE APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY. TAKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AND CREATE A PROGRAM AND WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOREVER. WE SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON EDUCATION. WHAT ARE THE FIXES? WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING AND WHY ARE STUDENTS NOT DOING BETTER? BECAUSE MAYBE THEY NEED MORE THAN JUST THE EDUCATION WHEN THEY GET THERE. IF WE HAVE GOT SO MANY IN
POVERTY, ARE THEY EATING BEFORE THEY SHOW UP, ARE THEY GETTING WHAT THEY NEED, WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE WEEKEND? ARE WE -- YOU KNOW -- ARE THE SERVICES THERE AND WE SPEND 25% FROM THE LAND GRANT FUND BUT, AGAIN, I LOVE THE RAINY DAY. I LOVE TO HOLD ON TO IT. I APPRECIATE THAT BUT WHEN YOU ARE LAST IN THE NATION IN PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING AND YOU HAVE ONE OF THE STOUTEST, FLUSHEST, FATTEST LAND GRANT FUNDS IN THE COUNTRY, COME ON PEOPLE, DRIBBLE OUT A LITTLE BIT. A LITTLE BIT FOR THREE YEARS, SEE WHAT HAPPENS. >> THIS COULD BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION. ANDY, AGAIN, SOME NEW IDEAS MIGHT SURFACE HERE. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, WITH THIS RULING THE JUDGE HAS LAYED DOWN A VERY AGGRESSIVE TIMELINE. WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT THAT. AND WHETHER IT IS DOABLE OR NOT, BUT PERHAPS THIS IS THE THING TO GET PEOPLE SPURRED FORWARD, THIS DIFFICULT CHALLENGING TIMELINE.
>> I THINK IT IS GOING TO FORCE THE STATE TO GET CREATIVE WITH THE MONEY THEY DO HAVE AND INCREASE OF MONEY COULD HELP, BUT I THINK THERE IS GOING TO BE CONCERN FROM THE LEGISLATURE AND LEGISLATORS SAYING MORE MONEY IS FINE BUT SHOW US HOW YOU USE IT. DON'T -- USE IT WISELY AND SPEND IT ON THINGS TO MAKE SURE THE KIDS GET RESOURCES THEY NEED INSTEAD OF SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T PERTAIN DIRECTLY TO THE KIDS. >> TAKING INNOVATIONS THAT YOU WORK, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. WE HAVE THOSE IN OUR STATE. WE HAVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT DO BETTER THAN OTHERS, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE RIGHT NEXT DOOR. LOOK AT PEOPLE -- I MOVED TO RIO RANCHO. RIO RANCHO IS A BOOM TOWN BECAUSE OF ITS SCHOOLS. IN GRANT COUNTY, THERE ARE TWO SCHOOL SYSTEMS, ONE OF WHICH COVERS A MUCH MORE IMPOVERISHED POPULATION. THOSE SCHOOLS BLOW THE REST OF THE STATE OUT OF THE WATER CONSISTENTLY, BECAUSE THEY INNOVATE AND SEEK OUT GRANTS AND SEEK OUT NEW WAYS TO DO THE SAME THING BETTER AND CAN'T WE TAKE THOSE BEST PRACTICES. >> YES, WE ARE DOING IT RIGHT
HERE. I LIVE IN RIO RANCHO, I SHOULD KNOW THAT, THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS. >> I APPRECIATE YOUR POINT MERRITT BUT THERE IS SOMETHING LEFT OFF THAT NEEDS TO BE ON THE TABLE. IT TAKES A COMBINATION OF THINGS TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT BACK ON THE MONEY THING, WHAT JUDGE SINGLETON HAS SAID, AGAIN, JUST TO COVER ALL BASES, WE ARE TALKING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO EDUCATION, AND IT IS GOING TO COST US MONEY AND WE HAVE TO GET READY FOR THIS FACT. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT? >> WHAT IF WE ARE WILLING TO MAKE SOME KIND OF BOLD DECISIONS LIKE, LET'S END THE PEARSON CONTRACT FOR PARCC RIGHT NOW, PUT ALL THAT MONEY WHERE WE THINK IT NEEDS TO GO. >> WE NEED TO CUT 10% OF OVERHEAD COSTS RIGHT NOW AND WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THAT AND WE ARE GOING TO CUT YOUR FUNDING AND PUTTING IT TO THE REST OF THE STATE FOR PROGRAMS THAT WE NEED. I THINK THERE IS THE ABILITY TO SPEND MONEY MORE INTELLIGENTLY THAN WE HAVE BEEN. >> MIMI STEWARD HAD AN
INTERESTING QUOTE, SAID, I AM THANKFUL THE JUDGE IS TELLING US TO GET OUR ACT TOGETHER. I LOVE THAT. IT'S SIMPLE. I ASK ONCE AGAIN, IN THE LEGISLATURE IT TAKES LEADERSHIP. SOMEONE HAS TO STEP FORWARD AND SAY, OKAY, THIS IS THE LAW OF THE LAND NOW WHAT DO WE DO? WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. >> I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT. THE RULING DEFINITELY CHANGES THE LANDSCAPE A LITTLE BIT. LEGISLATORS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS RULING AND IT HAS BEEN ON THEIR MIND AS A POTENTIAL LARGE EXPENSE SO IT CERTAINLY DOES CHANGE THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE. THERE COULD BE SOME LAWMAKERS MIGHT BE MORE WILLING TO RAISE TAXES OR INCREASE SPENDING, THAN THEY WOULD BE OTHERWISE, BUT, THERE IS GOING TO BE A REALLY INTENSE DEBATE ALONG THE LINES OF WHAT VIKI AND MERIT TALKED ABOUT WHICH IS MAKING SURE THE MONEY IS SPENT EFFECTIVELY. SCHOOL DISTRICTS SHOULDN'T LOOK AT THIS AS A POTENTIAL BONANZA. THEY ARE GOING TO GET SCRUTINY ABOUT ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
IF I CAN JUST TOUCH ON ONE MORE POINT, THE LEGISLATURE HAS STUDIED A LOT OF DIFFERENT PROGRAMS AND FOUND SOME THINGS THAT ARE WORKING IN NEW MEXICO. AND THERE IS BROAD AGREEMENT FROM REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ON PROGRAMS THAT EXTEND THE SCHOOL YEAR, LIKE VIKI MENTIONED, PROGRAMS THAT PREPARE CHILDREN TO BE READY FOR KINDERGARTEN, PRE K, EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS, THOSE HAVE GOTTEN REALLY GLOWING REVIEWS ACROSS THE AISLE AND SO IT MAY BE THAT PROGRAMS LIKE THAT EMERGE AS PART OF THE ANSWER. >> RIGHT. JUST ABOUT A MINUTE VIK. I WISH WE HAD AN HOUR FOR THIS SUBJECT BUT I AM LOOKING AT THIS INTERESTING THING FROM THE JUDGE THAT SHE SAYS, THAT THE ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY IN RURAL DISTRICTS AND SHE SUGGESTED THAT THE STATE TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO LOWER QUALITY OF TEACHERS IN HIGH NEEDS SCHOOLS. THAT IS AN INTERESTING PREMISE.
SHE MENTIONS WHAT WE HAVE IN PLACE NOW, TURNS OUT TO BE A NEGATIVE POSSIBLY. >> TESTING IS RIDICULOUS. PARCC NEEDS TO GO, ALL THESE THINGS, AGAIN, WE HAVE DONE THIS FOREVER IN THIS COUNTRY, WE HAVE EDUCATED CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WHAT DID WE DO BEFORE ALL THIS BLOATED TESTING AND TEACHER EVALUATIONS, YOU KNOW, A TEACHER EVALUATION SHOULD BE SOME ADMINISTRATOR AT THE END OF THE YEAR OBSERVING A CLASS. TALKING TO THE STUDENTS, YOU KNOW, IS YOUR TEACHER ANY GOOD? WHAT DID YOU DO THIS YEAR? INSTEAD OF LIKE THIS CHECK OFF OF HOW EVERY STUDENT DID WHICH A TEACHER HAS NO CONTROL OVER. >> TECHNOLOGY IS HUGE, I MEAN, THIS IS SUCH AN ISSUE IN NEW MEXICO. WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT IT BEFORE. WE HAD A HEARING WITH THE SCC COMMISSIONER OUT HERE A COUPLE YEARS AGO AND A STUDENT FROM ROSWELL TALKS ABOUT THEM ALL DOING THEIR HOMEWORK IN THE MCDONALD'S PARKING LOT BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AND THERE WAS TWO
COMPUTERS IN SCHOOL AND NOW THEY DO IT ALL -- ALL HOMEWORK IS ON A COMPUTER. >> IT IS GOING TO BE INTERESTING. >> THERE IS A LOT OF PIECES IN THAT LAWSUIT. >> ANDY, I AM TELLING YOU RIGHT NOW, THE TECH THING ALONE, WE BETTER BE READY TO WRITE A CHECK. THE JUDGE HAS LAID IT DOWN, WHAT IS OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE IN THE STATE FOR YEARS, HERE IT IS CODIFIED SAYING YOU GOT TO GET AFTER THIS. >> THEY HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS IN SANTA FE, BROADBAND ACROSS THE STATE, INFRASTRUCTURE IS JUST NOT THERE. YOU PUT A BUNCH OF MONEY TO TECHNOLOGIES IN COMPUTERS, THEY ARE ALMOST USELESS IF YOU CAN'T CONNECT. >> HALF A MILLION A MILE TO DRAG FIBER. >> PEOPLE HAVE TO HAVE ACCESS TO IT. WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'LL CONTINUE A CONVERSATION ABOUT CUTS TO UNM SPORTS PROGRAMS. >> NEW MEXICO INFOCUS IS ON FOLLOW US ONLINE TO GET DATES ON UPCOMING SHOWS AND TELL US
WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE TOP NEWS STORIES OF THE WEEK. THEN, TUNE IN BECAUSE WE MAY SHARE YOUR COMMENTS ON THE LINE. >> THE UNM BOARD OF REGENTS VOTED LAST WEEK TO CUT MEN'S SOCCER, MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SKIING AND WOMEN'S BEACH VOLLEYBALL. IT WAS A CONTROVERSIAL DECISION, TO SAY THE LEAST. ALBUQUERQUE GENERAL STAFF WRITER JEFF GRAMMER COVERS THE LOBOS AND ALONG WITH REPORTING SCORES, HE ALSO SOUGHT OUT INFORMATION ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT. HE SAT DOWN THIS WEEK WITH PRODUCER SARAH GUSTAVUS TO TALK ABOUT TRANSPARENCY AND WHY THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS MATTERS AS MUCH AS WHAT HAPPENS ON THE FIELD OR THE COURT. >> JEFF GRAMMER, STAFF WRITER AT THE ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY. THERE ARE TWO COMPLAINTS FILED ALLEGING THE UNM BOARD OF OPEN MEETINGS ACT. WHAT IS IN THE COMPLAINT? >> LAST WEEK, BIG BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING, SPECIAL MEETING, WAS TO VOTE ON A PROPOSAL TO CUT SPORTS AND WHILE THEY POSTED THAT MEETING, LIKE THEY ARE MEETINGS ACT, ON JULY 3, WHICH
WAS ENOUGH NOTICE TO ANNOUNCE THE MEETING, THEY KEPT IT VERY VAGUE, WHAT THE MEETING WAS ABOUT, TO DECIDE ON ATHLETICS MATTERS. MOST PEOPLE KNEW IT HAD TO DO WITH THE CUTTING OF SPORTS BUT THE MAIN PART OF THIS COMPLAINT HAS TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT THE REPORT AS TO WHAT SPORTS WERE BEING CUT AND THE DETAILS IN SPECIFICS ABOUT HOW THEY WERE GOING TO CUT THEM WASN'T RELEASED UNTIL 5:00 P.M. THE NIGHT BEFORE A 9:00 A.M. MEETING. IN NEW MEXICO YOU'RE REQUIRED TO GIVE PROPER NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC BEFORE THE MEETING SO THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT. THAT IS ONE OF THE THREE -- THERE IS THREE PARTS OF THE COMPLAINT. THAT IS THE MAIN ONE, IS THERE WASN'T SUFFICIENT NOTICE AND ANOTHER PART OF IT HAS TO DO WITH SOME COMMENTS MADE DURING THE MEETING. MICHAEL BRASHER DID ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WHILE THE REPORT CAME OUT LATE LAST NIGHT AND DIDN'T GIVE PEOPLE TIME TO GO THROUGH THE REPORT, HE HAD BEEN KEPT UP TO SPEED BY TALKING TO STOKES, THE PRESIDENT. ONE OF THE REGENTS, GARRETT ADCOCK, READ HIS DECISION FROM A PREPARED STATEMENT WRITTEN BEFORE THE MEETING.
SO THREE-AND-A-HALF HOURS OF PUBLIC COMMENTS DIDN'T SWAY HIS DECISION AT ALL AND IT SORT OF HAD THIS FEEL OF EVERYTHING WAS PREDETERMINED. WELL, IF THERE IS A ROLLING QUORUM THAT MAKES THE MEETING INVALID. AND A ROLLING QUORUM BASICALLY SAYS THEY GOT TOGETHER AND WERE DECIDING THIS THING BEFORE THE PUBLIC MEETING EVER HAPPENED AND THAT CAN INVALIDATE THE MEETING AS WELL. IF THE MEETING IS INVALIDATED YOU HAVE TO REDO THE MEETING. IT MAY NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. YOU HAVE TO REDO IT, REPOST IT. ONE OTHER ELEMENT OF THE MOST RECENT COMPLAINT HAS TO DO GARRETT ADCOCK. HE. GRADUATED IN MAY AND YOU'RE REQUIRED TO BE A STUDENT, TO BE A STUDENT REGENT, WE HAVE SINCE FOUND OUT HE IS GOING TO ENROLL IN A CLASS THIS FALL, WHETHER THAT IS TO KEEP HIS STATUS AS A STUDENT REGENT OR NOT, BUT HE DID GRADUATE IN MAY AND THAT WAS ONE OF THE PARTS OF THE COMPLAINT AS WELL. >> UNM ATHLETICS HAS BEEN STRUGGLING FOR YEARS WITH FINANCIAL ISSUES. DO YOU THINK A DECISION TO CUT SPORTS WAS A SURPRISE? >> IT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN. IT WASN'T FOR ME. DON'T GET ME WRONG, I GET MOST
PEOPLE TURN INTO THE SPORTS SECTION AREN'T THERE TO READ FINANCIAL NEWS. BUT FOR FIVE YEARS I HAVE BEEN WRITING ABOUT DEFICITS IN UNM ATHLETICS. RECENT FISCAL YEAR, COMPLETING JUNE 30, THEY WILL HAVE HAD 9 OF 11 YEARS WHERE THEY FINISHED IN THE RED. MOST PEOPLE KIND OF UNDERSTAND THAT COLLEGE ATHLETICS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO BE VERY PROFITABLE BUT THEY ARE EXPECTED AND LEADERS SAY THEY ARE EXPECTED TO FINISH IN THE BLACK LIKE EVERY OTHER DEPARTMENT. THEY HAVEN'T BEEN. I HAVE BEEN WRITING ABOUT THEM IN THE JOURNAL. IF YOU GO BACK JUST ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO AFTER THEY POSTED FOR FISCAL YEAR '16, 1.5 MILLION-DOLLAR DEFICIT, PAUL KREBBS SAID, THE FORMER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, SAID AT AN OPEN PUBLIC MEETING TO THE BOARD OF REGENTS IN OCTOBER OF 2016, THIS ECONOMY, THIS COMMUNITY, CANNOT SUPPORT WHAT WE ARE DOING RIGHT NOW, SOMETHING DRASTICALLY HAS TO CHANGE. WE NEED MORE HELP. WE NEED MORE STUDENT FEES. WE NEED SOMETHING OR WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SERIOUS CHANGES AND WE HAVE TO PROBABLY DO SOMETHING DRASTIC. STUDENT REGENT BERRYMAN AT THE
TIME ASKED, DOES THAT MEAN CUTTING SPORTS AND PAUL KREBBS SAID, YES. AS EARLY AS OCTOBER OF 2016, VERY SPECIFICALLY CUTTING OF SPORTS WAS NOT ONLY OUT IT WAS OUT ON THE REGENTS' TABLE, SO IT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A SURPRISE, EVEN IF YOU GO BACK TO SPRING, THEY APPROVED A BUDGET THAT CALLED FOR 1.9 MILLION IN REDUCTION AND SPORTS. NONE OF THIS SHOULD BE A SURPRISE BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE TAKEN BY SURPRISE. MAYBE THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN BUT IT IS HARD TO PREPARE -- YOU DON'T FATHOM THEY ARE GOING TO CUT A SPORT, THAT IS SOMETHING TO WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND. >> I CAN UNDERSTAND. LAWMAKERS CAME AND HAD A CONFERENCE AND SAID -- DO YOU THINK EVERYONE IS AT THE TABLE TALKING ABOUT ALL THE OPTIONS? >> I DON'T THINK EVERYONE IS AT THE TABLE TALKING ABOUT OPTIONS. TO WHAT I JUST SAID, I THINK THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LAWMAKERS TORRES COME IN AFTER THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE AND SAY, YOU KNOW, WE WOULD HAVE HELPED. YOU COULD HAVE AND MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE. I THINK -- I DON'T WANT TO NECESSARILY SAY IT IS ENTIRELY DISINGENUOUS.
I THINK THEY DO WANT TO HELP BUT IT DOES SMACK OF KIND OF SWOOPING IN IN AN EMOTIONAL TIME TO TRY AND GARNER FAVORS FROM A LOT OF EMOTIONAL PEOPLE AND SAYING WE WOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO SAVE YOU GUYS, WHEN MAYBE YOU COULD HAVE. LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION, MAYBE SOMETHING COULD HAVE BEEN DONE. WHAT THE LAWMAKERS THIS WEEK HAVE SAID IS, COME TALK TO US, COME ASK US FOR HELP. UNM HAS ALREADY MADE THE DECISION, THOUGH, SO I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING TO CHANGE. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. THERE IS SOME URGENCY BECAUSE THE SOCCER SEASON STARTS IN TWO-AND-A-HALF WEEKS. THERE IS AN EXHIBITION MATCH. PLAYERS ARE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER RIGHT NOW. IF THEY KNOW THEY ARE NOT GOING TO EXIST, IF THE TEAM IS NOT GOING TO EXIST ONE YEAR FROM NOW, SOME OF THEM MAY WANT TO TRANSFER NOW AND THIS VERY WEEK. THEY MAY WANT TO GO AND JOIN ANOTHER TEAM. SO IF SOMEONE IS GOING TO SWOOP IN AND SAVE THE SOCCER TEAM OR WOMEN'S BEACH VOLLEYBALL OR THE MEN'S OR WOMEN'S SKI TEAM, THEY BETTER DO IT NOW. THIS CAN'T BE SOMETHING THAT TAKES TWO OR THREE WEEKS TO DECIDE OR TWO OR THREE MONTHS TO DECIDE. >> YEAH. YOU HAVE GOT RECORDS ON THE FINANCES OF THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING THE NAMING DEALS OF THE PIT.
WHAT INFORMATION HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO GET? >> IT HAS BEEN HIT AND MISS. IF YOU GO BACK TO WHEN WISE PIES GOT THE NAMING RIGHTS DEAL AT THE PIT, OF THE UNIVERSITY ARENA, THEY RELEASED AT THE TIME -- THEY GAVE PEOPLE, HERE IS THE DEAL, THE TERMS. BEEN THE CASE, THAT IS WHAT WE ARE SEEKING NOW. BRANCH FIELD AT UNIVERSITY STADIUM, THE FOOTBALL FIELD, IS NAMED AFTER MARGARET AND TURNER BRANCH. WE CAN'T GET THAT CONTRACT. WE DON'T KNOW IF ANYTHING HAS BEEN PAID TOWARDS IT. AT THE TIME THEY GOT A LARGE PAT ON THE BACK AND A CHALLENGE TO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY SAYING DO WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING, THEY ARE HELPING LOBO ATHLETICS. WE DON'T KNOW IF THEY HAVE PAID ANYTHING OR WHAT THE TERMS OF THAT DEAL ARE. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ALL GET. UNM FOUNDATION HAS SORT OF SAID, WELL, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTECT DONOR INFORMATION. OF COURSE YOU DO. >> WE AREN'T ASKING FOR DONOR INFORMATION, WE ARE ASKING FOR A CONTRACT OF A BUSINESS DEAL, THIS ISN'T REALLY JUST A DONATION. IF IT WAS JUST A DONATION SOMEBODY GIVING MONEY TO A CAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN. WHAT THIS IS, IS AN EXCHANGE
FOR ADVERTISING, IN EXCHANGE FOR MARKETING, WE ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY AND YOU'RE GOING TO PLASTER OUR NAME ON A VISIBLE FIELD THAT IS ON EVERY TELEVISED FOOTBALL GAME, ON A BUILDING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE SEE. THEY ARE GETTING SOMETHING IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS AND THIS IS A BUSINESS TRANSACTION. THIS IS NOT JUST A DONATION THAT REALLY FALLS UNDER THE WE CAN PROTECT DONOR INFORMATION. >> FOR A PUBLIC INSTITUTION. >> FOR A PUBLIC INSTITUTION. VERY OBVIOUS PART OF ALL THIS. WHAT YOU SEE, THIS IS SORT OF -- NEW MEXICO IS NOT ALONE IN THIS. WHAT IS HEADING DOWN THE PATH IS FOUNDATIONS AT UNIVERSITIES EVERYWHERE, A LOT OF PRIVATE BUSINESS IS BEING DUMPED THROUGH THE FOUNDATIONS OR A LOT OF PUBLIC BUSINESS RATHER IS DUMPED THROUGH THE FOUNDATIONS BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY CAN MAKE IT PRIVATE. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. IF YOU'RE DOING BUSINESS WITH PUBLIC INSTITUTION, THAT IS PUBLIC BUSINESS. >> JUDGE DID RULE AGAINST UNM FOUNDATION. THEY ARE APPEALING. THE CASE WAS FILED BY DANIEL LIBBITT. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. >> YES. >> YOU HAVE TAKEN SOME HEAT ON
SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT YOUR REPORTING ON UNM FINANCES. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE WHEN FANS SAY, JUST STICK TO REPORTING THE SCORES, STICK TO THE THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT SPORTS? >> THIS PAST WEEK SHOWS BETTER THAN ANYTHING I CAN EXPLAIN ON TWITTER, ESPECIALLY, WHY YOU CAN'T JUST STICK TO REPORTING SCORES. THERE ARE SOCCER FANS RIGHT NOW ABOUT TO NOT HAVE THEIR TEAM TO CHEER FOR ANYMORE. IF WE HAD JUST STUCK TO REPORTING SCORES WE WOULDN'T HAVE EVEN KNOWN THIS WAS COMING. AGAIN, WE SPOKE EARLIER ABOUT THIS SURPRISED SOME PEOPLE, MAYBE PEOPLE COULD HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION BUT I HAVE BEEN REPORTING IN THE JOURNAL FOR FIVE YEARS. DANIEL LIBBITT CERTAINLY IN THE PAST YEAR-AND-A-HALF HAS DONE A TREMENDOUS JOB OF EXPOSING A LOT OF STUFF GOING ON WITH UNM ATHLETICS. THIS ISN'T UNIQUE TO UNM. THIS IS A PUBLIC BODY AND THIS IS A LOT OF PUBLIC MONEY AND AFFECTS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY. AND, YOU SHOULD KNOW WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING. YOU SHOULD KNOW IF THE PEOPLE GETTING RICH OFF THE BACKS OF COLLEGE ATHLETES, IF THEY ARE USING MONEY APPROPRIATELY OR
NOT AND DOING THINGS FOR THE COMMUNITY, DOING THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO MAYBE JEOPARDIZE THE FUTURE OF THAT SPORT, AND THAT IS WHAT WAS GOING ON HERE AND THAT IS WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT TO REPORT ALL THOSE THINGS THAT WEREN'T JUST COVERING THE GAME AND REPORTING THE SCORES. AND IF PEOPLE ARE UPSET ABOUT THAT AT TIMES, I AM OKAY WITH THAT, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO COVER IT ALL. >> UNM IS A MAJOR EMPLOYER IN THE STATE. EVEN THOSE CONNECTIONS, ALSO WE HAVE BEEN TALKING THIS WEEK ABOUT CUTTING SOCCER AT UNM IMPACTS EFFORTS TO GET A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER TEAM SET UP IN ALBUQUERQUE. >> RIGHT NOW IT IS A TIME WHEN A PRO SOCCER TEAM IS COMING. USL HAS ALREADY SAID THEY ARE COMING TO ALBUQUERQUE. THERE IS A VERY SUCCESSFUL SEMI-PRO TEAM IN ALBUQUERQUE SOUL THAT PLAYS HERE. SOCCER IS UNQUESTIONABLY A BIG SPORT IN NEW MEXICO. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY? I GUESS WE ARE ABOUT TO FIND OUT. I DO THINK THAT THE CAMPS THAT UNM SOCCER PUTS ON, THERE IS HUNDREDS OF KIDS FROM AROUND THE STATES AND OTHER STATES THAT COME TO PARTICIPATE IN THESE CAMPS.
AND I THINK WE WILL FIND OUT THAT IT DOES HAVE A HUGE IMPACT. JUST THE EXISTENCE AND ALL THE TEAMS HAS AN IMPACT ON THE SOCCER COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN NEW MEXICO. HOW MUCH IMPACT, WE'LL FIND OUT, I GUESS, BUT, THERE IS NO DOUBT THERE IS AN IMPACT THAT IS ABOUT TO BE LOST BECAUSE OF THE CUT OF THE MEN'S SOCCER TEAM. >> JEFF, THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPORTING AND THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY AND TALKING ABOUT THESE ISSUES AND WHY THEY MATTER. >> WELCOME BACK TO THE LINE. WE JUST HEARD FROM JEFF GRAMMER TALKING ABOUT THE UNM REGENTS RECENT DECISION TO CUT FOUR SPORTS AND REDUCE ROSTERS OF SEVERAL ADDITIONAL SPORTS. NOW IT'S BEEN A WEEK OR SO, IT RADIO TALK SHOWS, FOR VERY GOOD REASON, BUT NOW WE HAVE A WEEK TO LOOK BACK. THERE WAS THE HOW THIS DECISION WAS DONE AND ROLLED OUT TO THE PUBLIC AND THE ACTUAL DECISION ITSELF. TALK ABOUT THE HOW. SOME CONCERN OUT THERE ABOUT THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT VIOLATION. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF THAT, SO FAR?
>> I WILL SAY, YOU KNOW, IT SEEMS LIKE THEY MOVED INCREDIBLY QUICKLY. I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN BUILDING FOR SOME TIME. THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN TALKED REVEAL OF THE SPORTS THAT WERE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK AND ACTUAL VOTE CAME VERY, VERY QUICKLY. AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHY THERE WASN'T A VIGOROUS LONGER DISCUSSION ABOUT IT BEFORE THE REGENTS VOTE. IN MY EXPERIENCE, GOVERNMENTS TEND TO MOVE FAIRLY SLOWLY MOST OF THE TIME. YOU GO THROUGH MULTIPLE DIFFERENT STEPS. SO, I WAS STRUCK BY THE SPEED WITH WHICH WE LEARNED THE SPORTS WERE PROPOSED FOR ELIMINATION AND THE ACTUAL VOTE. >> GOOD POINT. PICK UP ON THAT. WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY, NEW SPORTS AD, COULD BE REASONABLY ASSUMED, LOOK, THEY HAVE THIS DUMPED IN THEIR LAPS, THEY HAD A TOUGH DECISION THAT FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW WAS THE RIGHT DECISION, BUT WAS THERE ENOUGH COMMUNITY INPUT ON THIS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BRAND NEW TO
THE COMMUNITY AND I AM NOT SURE FROM WHAT I AM READING IF THERE WAS STRONG ENOUGH TAKE ON WHAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS OR DOESN'T WANT, ESPECIALLY WITH THE SOCCER. SOMETHING SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISSED HERE. >> COMPLETELY MISSED. IT IS VERY DISAPPOINTING, OF THE THINGS I SAID ON THIS SHOW WHEN WE GOT THE NEW PRESIDENT, SIT DOWN AND TALK TO PEOPLE, DON'T FLY OUT WITH DECISIONS. DON'T DO IT IN A VACUUM. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING. >> AGAIN, THERE ARE FOUR SPORTS, BUT THE SOCCER, I AM GOING TO HAVE TO TALK ABOUT BECAUSE THIS IS LIKE ONE OF THE GOOD TEAMS, THIS IS ONE OF THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT MY ALMA MATER, FOLKS, OKAY? WE DON'T HAVE BRIAN URLACHER ANYMORE, ALL RIGHT? IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY HAVE A FEW BRIANS ON THE SOCCER TEAM. I THINK THERE COULD SERIOUSLY BE OPEN MEETINGS VIOLATIONS WITH THE QUICKNESS OF THE VOTE, ABSOLUTELY. BECAUSE I MEAN THAT NEVER HAPPENS. PEOPLE DON'T UNANIMOUSLY VOTE
ON SOMETHING WITHOUT DISCUSSION. WE HAVE ALL SEEN IT OVER AND OVER WHERE WHETHER IT IS CITY COUNCILOR OR STATE LEGISLATURE. IT'S JUST SUCH A QUICK DECISION FOR THE STUDENTS AND I THINK THAT WE CAN SAY WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT FOREVER, BUT IF YOU'RE THE STUDENT WHO FOUND OUT THAT MORNING THAT THE REASON YOU CAME TO NEW MEXICO, YOU KNOW, WE'LL STILL PAY YOUR SCHOLARSHIP. WELL, GREAT, BUT I CAN'T DO THE SPORT I LOVE AND THE WHOLE REASON I HAVE BEEN TRAINING SINCE I WAS A LITTLE KID TO DO THIS. >> THE SKI TEAM COACH HAS A NEW JOB. NO ONE IS GOING TO WAIT. YOU HAVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE, PRESS ON. SO, THERE IS A LOT OF TURMOIL THAT IS GOING TO COME. IS THERE SOMETHING HERE, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE STATE LEGISLATORS, FIVE DEMOCRATS SPECIFICALLY THIS WEEK THAT SAID, LOOK, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS AT THE LEGISLATURE. WE HAVE SOME MONEY. DAN MENTIONED OIL AND GAS BUMP WE HAVE HERE. IS THAT A VIABLE SOLUTION OR IS RIDING OIL AND GAS NOT WHERE WE SHOULD BE? >> I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL SOLUTION IS.
IN MY TIME COVERING THE LEGISLATURE, THAT UNM HAS ASKED FOR MONEY, MAYBE NOT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, BUT IT HAS BEEN FOR A FEW YEARS NOW AND RAISES QUESTIONS OF WHY DO WE HAVE ATHLETICS PROGRAMS AT A UNIVERSITY OR AT OUR SPECIFIC UNIVERSITY. AND WHATEVER THAT REASON IS, THEN WE SHOULD EVALUATE WHICH TEAMS WE SHOULD REALLY VALUE. IS IT A MONEY ISSUE? ARE WE TRYING TO RAISE MONEY WITH TICKETS? >> AMAZING. INTERESTING. FACTOID, MERRITT ALLEN, OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, AN ANALYSIS OF UNM'S PROGRAMS, MORE THAT 2 DOZEN UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE U.S. HAVE ELIMINATED VARSITY SPORTS PROGRAMS IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS TO ADDRESS FINANCIAL EQUITY OR OTHER CONCERNS. IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO GET RID OF THE GIANT SPORTS. WE DIDN'T TAKE THAT ROUTE, DID WE? IT SEEMS LIKE THE PUBLIC IS NOT QUITE CONVINCED THAT WE DUG THROUGH EVERY POSSIBLE
SOLUTION. THAT IS MY SENSE OF IT. >> I THINK THE SAD REALITY IS ONLY SPORTS THAT GENERATE BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL. AND A LOSING FOOTBALL TEAM WILL ALWAYS GENERATE MORE REVENUE THAN A WINNING SOCCER TEAM. THAT IS UNFORTUNATE. >> WHY IS THAT? >> I THINK, IT IS VERY CULTURAL. IT IS THE ALUMNI, THE HYPE ABOUT IT. SOCCER IS STILL A RELATIVELY NEW SPORT COMPARED TO FOOTBALL AT THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL AND I MUCH PREFER TO WATCH SOCCER, AND IT BROKE MY HEART TO HEAR THIS DECISION, BUT I THINK WE ALSO -- WE ARE LOOKING AT YEARS OF MISMANAGEMENT FROM INCOMPETENCE OR INDIFFERENCE IN THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT AND WHETHER VIOLATIONS OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT, I DON'T THINK IT MATTERS, BECAUSE THE REMEDY WOULD BE GO BACK AND HAVE PUBLIC INFORMATION, DO ANOTHER PUBLIC VOTE. AND GIVEN THE SPEED OF IT, HAVING SERVED ON BOARDS, HAVING SERVED ON BOARDS OF
ORGANIZATIONS IN CRISIS, THERE IS A CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEAM WORKING RIGHT NOW, I WOULD ALMOST GUARANTEE IT, AT UNM ATHLETICS AND THERE HAVE BEEN EXECUTIVE SESSION BRIEFINGS FOR REGENTS WHERE THIS WAS PROBABLY THE BEST DEAL THEY COULD COME UP WITH. WHAT THEY NEED TO DO IS SHARE THE INFORMATION WITH THE REST OF US. >> INTERESTING, ANOTHER SIDE ISSUE THAT CAME UP IS APPROPRIATIONS FOR TWO SPECIFIC UNIVERSITIES, UNM AND STATE IN LAS CRUCES. THERE IS A BIT OF A CONFUSING THING HERE. IT SEEMS LIKE ON PAPER STATE IS GETTING ABOUT A HALF A MILLION DOLLARS MORE DIRECTLY FOR THEIR SPORTS PROGRAMS. BUT WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT UNM DOES GET ALMOST EQUAL MONEY BUT IN A DIFFERENT ROUTE. CAN YOU GIVE US CLARITY ON THAT? HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO DIG AT THAT? I AM CONFUSED ON THIS HONESTLY. >> I CAN'T CLEAR THAT UP, IT MAY HAVE TO DO WITH ACCOUNTING ISSUE. THAT AS PROGRAMS ARE TRYING TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR SOMETHING, BOTH SIDES MAY BE ARGUING THEY
RECEIVE LESS MONEY THAN THE OTHER AND IT MAY BE WITH HOUSE SPENDING AND HOW IT IS CATEGORIZED. LEGISLATORS CLEARLY ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN THIS ISSUE AND WANT TO HELP. THEY WANT TO RESPOND TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS. BUT, I WOULD POINT OUT THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM THAT THEY ARE DEALING WITH IS NOT NECESSARILY FINANCIAL. IT IS THESE GENDER EQUITY ISSUES. SO, IT COULD BE THAT THIS ISN'T AS SIMPLE AS THE LEGISLATURE FUNDING A SOCCER TEAM OR VOLLEYBALL OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. YOU KNOW. THERE MAY BE BROADER STRUCTURAL ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED AND THOSE MAY BE MORE COMPLICATED THAN FINANCIAL. >> THAT BRINGS US BACK TO THE PRESIDENT SETTING THE TONE FOR ALL THESE THINGS. AS I THINK ABOUT IT HERE IN MY NOODLING, NOTHING HAPPENS IN A VACUUM, OTHER SPORTS ARE GOING TO BE AFFECTED BY THIS SOMEHOW. I AM NOT QUITE SURE HOW BUT IT IS GOING TO BE. >> YOU KNOW. >> WHY WOULD YOU COME HERE IF YOU WERE A STUDENT THAT WAS IN
ANYTHING BUT BASKETBALL OR FOOTBALL? YOU SAVED A MILLION DOLLARS. WHAT IS THEIR BUDGET? WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION DOING? COME ON PEOPLE. BESIDES FIGHTING LAWSUITS. YOU HAVE A WHOLE FOUNDATION IN ADDITION TO THE LEGISLATURE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE RAISING MONEY FOR THE UNIVERSITY. WHAT ARE THESE TOP CATS MAKING FOR SALARIES? I GET SO TIRED OF, OH, YOU HAVE TO CHANGE SALARY IN ORDER TO TRACT SOMEBODY AND WE DID AND WE ARE EXCITED AND THIS IS A HUGE BLUNDER ON HER PART RIGHT OFF THE BAT. >> WHO IS SHE? >> WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? >> STOKES, ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THIS IS A HUGE BLUNDER. I MEAN, WHERE IS THE PR FIRM? THERE IS NO REASON TO DO THIS AND THE GENDER EQUALITY THING, WE ARE GOING TO CUT THIS SPORT BECAUSE WE ARE NOT GOING TO BUILD YOU A PLACE TO PRACTICE? WHY CAN'T THE MEN AND WOMEN
SHARE THE PRACTICE, YOU GET IT IN THE MORNINGS, YOU GET IT IN THE AFTERNOONS. LET'S QUIT BEING RIDICULOUS. WE ARE NOT GOING TO CUT A WHOLE SPORT BECAUSE THE GUYS HAVE A PLACE TO PRACTICE AND YOU CAN'T USE IT, THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. >> AS WE TAPED HERE ON THURSDAY MIDDAY, I WATCHED AN EXCITING SOCCER GAME AN TV AND IT IS SO CLEAR THAT SOCCER IS ON THE RISE. IT IS AMAZING. THE FANS WERE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS. YOU WATCH A LOT OF SOCCER. IT WAS JUST SO INTERESTING, KIND OF A PRESEASON THING BUT MS. STOKES SAID, LOOK, IT WAS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF SPORTS AND I AM NOT SURE IF FOOTBALL IS THE FUTURE FOR A LOT OF FOLKS HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY. WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM OTHER FOLKS? >> I DO THINK LIKE MERRITT SAID, IT IS SO FRESH IN PEOPLES' MIND, I KNOW THEY HAVE -- FANS HAVE TRIED TO EMULATE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FOOTBALL GAMES. FOOTBALL GAMES IS THE WHOLE THING. THERE IS GAME DAY.
YOU SIT OUT THERE ALL DAY IN THE PARKING LOT BEFORE THE GAME. THEY WERE TRYING TO GET THAT GOING WITH SOCCER GAMES. THE TICKET PRICES ARE A LITTLE BIT LOWER. YOU'RE EXCITED, STILL EXCITING THING, BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, SCORING IT COMES DOWN TO JUST THINGS THAT WE ARE NOT USED TO AS, I GUESS, NEW MEXICAN WANTS THEM. YOU DON'T HAVE THE HITTING LIKE FOOTBALL OR FAST SCORING LIKE BASKETBALL. PEOPLE ARE COMING AROUND THOUGH. >> MY COLLEAGUE SAT IN THIS CHAIR AND TALKED TO PEOPLE FROM ALBUQUERQUE SOUL, THE NEW SOCCER OUTFIT THAT IS HERE, AND I COULDN'T HELP -- IN THAT INTERVIEW I COULDN'T HELP, ANDY, BUT THINK ABOUT LOSING THIS NCAA PROGRAM IS ACTUALLY A BLOW TO THEM AS WELL. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FOUR-YEAR STAR OUT OF UNM WHO DECIDES TO PLAY FOR ALBUQUERQUE SOUL, YOU HAVE THIS BUILT-IN AUDIENCE ALREADY. YOU CAN TURN THE WICKET. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU CAN'T JUST END THINGS AND OTHER PEOPLE NOT BE AFFECTED. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE ABOUT SOCCER'S FUTURE HERE IN ALBUQUERQUE WITH NO NCAA LEVEL
SOCCER? >> I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT, TOO. THAT IS CORRECT -- YOU CAN PULL PEOPLE FROM THAT TEAM, PLAYERS, I MEAN. WHAT IS THE DRAW FOR FUTURE PLAYERS TO COME HERE? WE DON'T HAVE THAT, LIKE YOU SAID, BUILT IN INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE FANS, BUT, THEN AGAIN, MAYBE THAT IS WHERE WE GO TO WATCH SOCCER NOW. >> GOOD POINT. WE HAD THE RIGHT COACH, EVERYTHING. WE HAD ALL THE PIECES IN OUR SOCCER PROGRAM AND HE IS STILL FIGHTING. GIVE THIS GUY A LOT OF CREDIT. >> NOW WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF ANY TOPICS COVERED ON THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM. GO TO NEW MEXICO INFOCUS.ORG OR CONNECT WITH US ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER. >> I AM GENE GRANT. THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR NEW MEXICO INFOCUS. AS ALWAYS WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND EFFORT TO STAY INFORMED AND ENGAGED. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, INFOCUS.
Series
New Mexico in Focus
Episode Number
1204
Episode
Plaintiff and Attorney in Education Lawsuit, Journalist Geoff Grammer on UNM Athletics Cuts
Producing Organization
KNME-TV (Television station : Albuquerque, N.M.)
Contributing Organization
New Mexico PBS (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-019a1c60d5c
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Description
Episode Description
This week on New Mexico in Focus, producer Sarah Gustavus sits down with an attorney and one of the parents listed in a combined lawsuit that argued that the state’s public education system is not meeting constitutional requirements to provide equal access to education, particularly for economically disadvantaged students, Native Americans, students with disabilities and English Language learners. Judge Sarah Singleton ruled last week in favor of the plaintiffs, and gave state officials a deadline in spring 2019 to adequately fund education. Sarah Gustavus also sits down with Albuquerque Journal sports writer Geoff Grammer. Along with covering the UNM Lobos and their team’ scores, he has reported on financial troubles in the university’s Athletics Department. The UNM Board of Regents’ recent decision to cut four sports was unpopular with athletes and their community supporters. Grammer will talk about what he’s uncovered in his reporting and why the business of sports matters for all New Mexicans. Gene Grant and the Line opinion panelists discuss what’s next for New Mexico in the wake of Judge Singleton’s ruling on public education funding. They also debate reactions to the cut of four teams and ongoing financial troubles in the UNM Athletics Department. Host: Gene Grant Correspondent: Sarah Gustavus Studio Guests: Geoff Grammer, reporter, Albuquerque Journal, Wilhelmina Yazzie (Navajo), parent and plaintiff, Preston Sanchez, attorney, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, Line Panelists: Merritt Allen, owner and executive director, Vox Optima LLC, Viki Harrison, director of state operations, Common Cause, Andy Lyman, reporter, NM Political Report, Dan McKay, reporter, Albuquerque Journal.
Broadcast Date
2018-07-27
Asset type
Episode
Genres
Talk Show
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:57:45.229
Embed Code
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Credits
Guest: Yazzie, Wilhelmina
Guest: Sanchez, Preston
Guest: Grammer, Geoff
Host: Grant, Gene
Panelist: Harrison, Viki
Panelist: Allen, Merritt
Panelist: Lyman, Andy
Panelist: McKay, Dan
Producer: Gustavus, Sarah
Producing Organization: KNME-TV (Television station : Albuquerque, N.M.)
Reporter: Gustavus, Sarah
AAPB Contributor Holdings
KNME
Identifier: cpb-aacip-ba0cde71149 (Filename)
Format: XDCAM
Generation: Master: caption
Duration: 00:57:24
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Citations
Chicago: “New Mexico in Focus; 1204; Plaintiff and Attorney in Education Lawsuit, Journalist Geoff Grammer on UNM Athletics Cuts ,” 2018-07-27, New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-019a1c60d5c.
MLA: “New Mexico in Focus; 1204; Plaintiff and Attorney in Education Lawsuit, Journalist Geoff Grammer on UNM Athletics Cuts .” 2018-07-27. New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-019a1c60d5c>.
APA: New Mexico in Focus; 1204; Plaintiff and Attorney in Education Lawsuit, Journalist Geoff Grammer on UNM Athletics Cuts . Boston, MA: New Mexico PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-019a1c60d5c