Public Education Commission attempts unprecedented move

Tomorrow, the Public Education Commission (PEC), an elected, advisory board to the Public Education Department (PED) and it’s Secretary-Designee, Hanna Skandera, will consider an unprecedented move by the PEC to appeal the secretary’s actions on two charter schools to district court.

The PEC had denied the charters for New Mexico Connections Academy (NMCA) (of which I’m on the board), a statewide virtual school and Taos International School. Under state law, these charter schools were able to appeal to the secretary. She recently overturned the denial. The PEC agenda (see link) shows the body going into a executive session with their attorney to discuss “pending litigation.”

State law says, “If the secretary finds that the chartering authority acted arbitrarily or capriciously, rendered a decision not supported by substantial evidence or did not act in accordance with law, the secretary may reverse the decision of the chartering authority and order the approval of the charter with or without conditions. The decision of the secretary shall be final.”

The Rio Grande Foundation supports school choice, Skandera’s decision to offer more options to students in New Mexico, and state law which says the decision of the secretary is final.