Espanola district superintendent contests state’s concerns

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The superintendent of Espanola Public Schools says most of the state Public Education Department’s concerns about the district are unfounded.

The Public Education Department last month said it was taking over the district’s finances and otherwise criticized Superintendent Eric Martinez’s leadership. The agency gave Martinez 30 days to submit a corrective plan.

In a letter received by state education officials on Monday, Martinez called the department’s allegations of his oversight inaccurate and said that the district is complying with state and school board policies.

The letter did not appear to contain a corrective plan.

Among the state’s accusations are claims that Martinez helped create an atmosphere of intimidation and bullying, in part by rehiring the school’s basketball coach, who was accused of verbally abusing players.

Public Education Department spokesman Robert McEntyre says the department is reviewing Martinez’s letter.

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