ALBUQUERQUE: Monday the U.S. Assistant Attorney General filed a letter of interest in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, stating that the education choice is a parent’s right under the Constitution, and that New Mexico has no grounds for controlling the choice of parents, essentially restricting their right to choose their child’s education path. Governor Grisham has allowed public schools to reopen at 50% occupancy, while keeping private schools at 25%. It’s a big blow to Governor Grisham who has prided herself with having some of the most stringent rules for reopening the state in the nation (even mandating masks for outdoors for individuals exercising when social distancing is possible).
“Parents have a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, without interference from the government, to select the school for their children of their choice, whether a public school, a parochial school, or a non-religious private school,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division. “New Mexico’s response to COVID-19 has infringed that right by adopting one rule for public schools and another for private schools, resulting in private schools remaining closed for in-person instruction, without justification. There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and New Mexico’s differential standards for private and public schools cannot stand.”
Many private schools opened and started school in August following Governor Grisham’s mandates carefully, and even making additional efforts to follow the rules. Some of the schools were met with harassment in their communities and belligerent reports from community members who (apparently) hate the schools— possibly even due to religious affiliation. Either way, many private schools have jumped through the hoops they must to reopen (using buildings they normally wouldn’t or even hosting an “outdoor” school in tents!), followed Grisham’s mandate and are still getting harassed. Apparently there aren’t any repercussions for false reports. Sad.
But what has gotten the Feds involved is that Governor Grisham (after scolding the naughty children in New Mexico) allowed public schools to reopen if their district chose to, following a hybrid model. Grisham allowed public schools to reopen to 50% occupancy (and a number of other rules including mandatory masks), but the “naughty” private schools have not been allowed to reopen at that rate. Grisham wants them filled to the previous number they had before– 25%. Does that seem like an injustice? It should. And the Feds are stepping in. I’ll believe the lies about how dangerous private schools are when these same socialists start protesting big box injustice outside Walmart or Lowes which always seem to be packed and where the stores are as filthy as they have always been.
Private schools hold together our communities in many ways, from the rich kids to the poor kids who have had so many struggles they’re kicked out of public, private schools are an important part of our education system. In New Mexico most, if not all, private schools fall under the Child Youth and Family Department (CYFD) and not the Public Education Department (PED), with the new Early Childhood Education Department (ECED) falling somewhere in between in a grey area that is yet being defined. CYFD qualifies these education facilities as something like daycares and even accredited K-12 schools can fall under CYFD.