Questa post­pones Río Cos­tilla School clo­sure de­ci­sion again

The Taos News - - EDUCATION - By Jesse Moya [email protected]­news.com

The Questa In­de­pen­dent Schools Board of Ed­u­ca­tion met for a Tues­day (Dec. 18) meeting where the board once again held off a dis­cus­sion on the clo­sure of Río Cos­tilla South­west Learning Academy.

For sev­eral years, the board has dis­cussed clos­ing the small school in far north­ern Taos County as a cost sav­ings mea­sure. Most re­cently, the board has con­sid­ered the school clos­ing while al­ready cutting close to $1 mil­lion off their bud­get. Río Cos­tilla’s fate has been re­moved from the agenda at the past two board meet­ings, leav­ing the dis­cus­sion likely to take place in 2019.

Par­ents and stu­dents have showed up at board meet­ings in the past to show their sup­port for the school, which cur­rently has 28 stu­dents en­rolled in K-6 grades. The school sits just south of the Colorado bor­der in the small town of Cos­tilla, where many par­ents are say­ing they do not wish to have their stu­dents bussed to Questa.

The board’s main rea­son for the clo­sure dis­cus­sion is to save money as Su­per­in­ten­dent LeAnne Salazar has said in the past that the school costs roughly be­tween $60,00 and $80,000 per year in util­ity op­er­a­tions alone.

Salazar is cur­rently out on per­sonal leave and fill­ing in for her is Felipe Blea.

The board also has had one mem­ber ab­sent from the past two meet­ings, mak­ing their num­bers four. If the board had voted on the school clo­sure, there would have been no fifth vote to break a tie.

The board also struck a dis­cus­sion of the In­spec­tion of Pub­lic Records Act from the agenda and re­moved Salazar’s eval­u­a­tion from its ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion dur­ing Tues­day’s meeting.

Río Cos­tilla is one of Questa’s con­sis­tently high­est-per­form­ing schools and has a B grade from the state Pub­lic Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment. Should the board vote to close the school, the PED still would have the fi­nal say.

Jesse Moya

The Questa In­de­pen­dent School Board pushed back a vote on clos­ing the Río Cos­tilla South­west Learning Academy for the second time dur­ing Tues­day’s meeting (Dec 18).

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