Santa Fe Public Schools fires back at PED over allegations it broke the law

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe Public Schools responds to the state’s claims it broke the law. It comes after the district dismissed schools early for a public rally earlier this month.

In a letter to the Secretary of Education, lawyers for the Santa Fe school district say the Public Education Department is way off base.

The six-page letter addresses each of the PED’s allegations, claiming the department’s letter to the district had “incorrect legal analysis and incorrect assumptions.”

Lawyers, representing Santa Fe Public Schools and Superintendent Dr. Veronica Garcia, sent the letter, Thursday. It’s in response to the one the PED sent a week ago.

It’s all over a half day of school when the superintendent dismissed schools early so students and teachers could attend a rally at the Roundhouse.

The PED says the school broke the law by using school resources for the pro-education protest.

Yet, Superintendent Garcia disagreed. In this letter, the district claims all of its actions are protected under the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution and says no public funds were used illegally or improperly.

The district also challenges the department’s request for public information with a request of its own, asking for all complaints the department says it received against the district.

The letter also indicates the district will provide a copy of its response to the state auditor, the attorney general and the secretary of state.

According to the letter, the school board voted unanimously to approve it and send it to the PED.

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