Anger Over Journal Editorial Sparks Teacher Boycott

February 17th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Tracy Dingmann

I was wondering what the unions thought about the Journal’s editorial yesterday that blasted both houses of the legislature for not proposing drastic enough spending cuts to balance the budget.

The editorial, “State Budget Needs Cut-and-Tax Officials,” took both bodies to task but noted that the Senate plan at least included cuts of 3 percent – a plan the paper’s editors said didn’t go nearly far enough.

Late yesterday the American Federation of Teachers announced that more than 200 teachers and school employees have told the union they will drop their subscription to the paper because of the editorial.

“I’m giving myself a pay raise tomorrow by dropping my subscription,” said AFT member Sara Attleson in a press release circulated yesterday.

From the AFT release:

Today’s Albuquerque Journal editorial lays out certain support for a budget proposal that would cut hundreds of millions in public education funding and cut even more from school employees’ pay. The editorial completely ignores the massive cuts that lawmakers have already made to education in order to balance the budget.

The release refers to several hundred million dollars worth of spending cuts that were made during the special session in October in order to balance the budget of the current fiscal year.

The Journal editorial goes on to praise the  much-maligned “tortilla tax” currently on the table, calling it preferable to a half cent sales tax hike on all food items that would “take a bigger bite out of all of our collective paychecks.”

The Journal editorial says nothing about the other much-discussed revenue options proposed this year that would raise taxes on wealthy New Mexicans and out of state corporations.

The legislature must hammer out a budget plan by the time the session concludes Thursday at noon.

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