Navajo Officials praises Skandera position
“the board’s decision failed to provide educational benefits of the school closures and lacked community involvement.”
By: Editor | Navajo Post | July 13
The President said “I am pleased with New Mexico Sec. Skandera’s decision. She has made a decision that will keep three of our middle schools open and allow our children to continue their education without worrying about being placed with older students. I applaud her recognition too that this issue wasn’t properly brought to our people and government,”
Speaker Naize said, “I am delighted to hear Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera has made a decision that thoughtfully and appropriately considered what is in the best interest of our Navajo students and their education,” adding, “Her decision greatly ensures that our children will continue onward to educational success on a stable and secure pathway, devoid of the many uncertainties and worries that would have resulted from the school closures. For that reason, she is to be commended.”
The President office said In May, the school board passed a budget that would have closed middle schools in Navajo, Crownpoint and Tohatchi. Since then, Mr. Shelly has met with education officials to prevent the closures.
But Sec. Skandera sent a letter on July 11, to Gallup McKinley County school Superintendent Ray Arsenault and Board President Mavis Price, the letter was a clear blow to the counties decision and it said that the board’s decision failed to provide educational benefits of the school closures and lacked community involvement.
In addition, Sec. Skandera wrote the school board didn’t adhere to the spirit of the Indian Education Act by consulting with Navajo Nation regarding reorganization efforts.
“There is no documentation to support a conclusion that the local school board involved the Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education in the final decision,” Sec. Skandera wrote.
The Navajo Nation extended a working hand to continue a future working partnership “We hope this decision will open the door to communication with Gallup McKinley County School District our community members, parents and the Navajo Nation government need to be kept up to speed about changes that affect our children. Our children are our most precious resource and we must treat them as such,” President Shelly said.