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Aguilar school board asked to resign

by Bill Knowles
AGUILAR- After all action items were taken care of during a regular RE-6 board meeting last Monday evening, Miriam Marquez electrified the standing-room-only crowd, by asking board members to resign. Their response to the request was negative. Marquez then indicated that a recall might be considered. The statement drew a positive response from many at the meeting. The board currently has two vacant seats it needs to fill.
In business conducted before the request was made, the RE-6 school board voted to renew the contracts of nearly all the teachers and staff currently employed at Aguilar School.
The meeting got off to a late start after board members received a call from one member who was just arriving at Denver International Airport. Board secretary Marc Piano was a no-show. Three members were present for the meeting making a quorum.
The school board’s lawyer and officials from the Colorado Department of Education were also present to offer advice and to inform the board.
Board Vice President Vicky Huffman made the motion to accept all the contracts, but no second to the motion was made. Board member Mary Vigil then began questioning where funding for the para-teachers was coming from.
CDE members explained that the funding for “paras” and special education comes from Title One along with sources of funding for the Targeted District Improvement Plan (TDIP). RE-6 is currently looking at a $163,000 shortfall in the budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The district also stands to lose even more funding because of a loss of 10 students over the past two months due to transfers out of the district.
Board member Vigil eventually made a second to the motion to renew all teachers’ contracts after the audience began pushing for the board to make a second to the motion. Approval of the contract renewal moves the budgeting process for Aguilar forward.
The Vocational Technical education teacher was not renewed because of retirement, and the board voted 3-0 to discontinue the program following advice from the teacher.
Voting 3-0, the board also decided to interview people who’ve responded with a letter of interest to fill the two empty board seats and to make April 25 the deadline for receipt of letters. Interviews will take place on April 29 at 4 pm at Aguilar School.
Concerns about bus safety prompted some to ask if they could get maps of the bus routes. The maps would tell parents where their children were at any given time moving to or from school on the bus. At first the board refused the request stating that it was a security issue. Then they backed up and said they would work on the request.
It was noted that the Town Marshall doesn’t have maps of the school’s bus routes and that radios for the buses could be purchased using a grant available from Homeland Security.
The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for May 16 starting at 5:30 pm.