July 24, 2019

SANTA FE—Today, Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R-Los Lunas) delivered a letter to Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) Chair Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque) requesting that the LESC hold an emergency hearing on the sudden dismissal of Public Education Department (PED) Secretary Karen Trujillo. Secretary Trujillo was abruptly fired from her position earlier this week.

Baldonado released this statement on his letter and the need for a LESC hearing on the governor’s action:

“New Mexicans deserve to know why the head of our state’s education system was terminated after just six months on the job just as we are about to start the school year. The governor says she plans a nationwide search for a new PED secretary, but it will be hard to recruit top-tier candidates unless they know they’ll have the necessary support to make needed changes and the criteria for their success is clearly defined. The governor needs to provide answers as to what happened and why such a drastic step was necessary.

“I am concerned that Secretary Trujillo is wrongfully being set up to take the blame for a poorly planned expansion of the state’s K-5 Plus program. Early on, Secretary Trujillo raised concerns about the process the Legislature set forth to implement this expansion. Although her concerns were not addressed, she did her best to execute the direction she was given. Blame for the underperformance of this expansion must be assumed by the people who devised it: the Legislature.”

A copy of Baldonado’s letter is attached.