Public Education Commission votes to consider closing La Promesa Charter School

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  The state is one step closer to closing La Promesa Learning Center.

Friday, the Public Education Commission voted five to three to proceed with revocation of the school’s charter.

The state PED has been investigating La Promesa since its founder and Albuquerque Public School Board member, Analee Maestas, used school money to send a cleaning crew to her home. She is accused of doctoring the paperwork to make it look like the job was done at the school.

An audit later revealed that it was just one of many questionable expenses. Commissioners addressed that Friday.

“From a budgetary standpoint, this lack of attention to detail over a period of time… you are at risk of not providing a concrete, excellent program to students,” Danielle Johnston, a commissoner, said.

Deputy Secretary of Education Paul Aguilar noted, “That audit is a disaster, and there’s no other word for it.”

Administrators from La Promesa defended themselves, noting that they’ve taken corrective action to address the bookkeeping issues and that students’ academic performance has turned around.

“I do feel that we are getting ourselves back on track,” Chris Jones, head administrator at La Promesa, said.

“I do feel we have made a good faith effort to go above and beyond what is required of us at this time,” Jones told the commission.

Felicia Cardenas, a parent, picking up her child Friday afternoon expressed her opinion about the decision.

“I’m very upset about it. I love this school. My son has learned so much,” she said.

“We know what they’re doing with our kids. We know how advanced they’re becoming,” another parent said in support of the school..

Several steps still need to be taken before the revocation is complete.

The hearing will take place in March. Depending on what the commission decides, the school could face closure by the summer.

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