Central Consolidated School District #22

Shiprock Administration Office P.O. Box 1199 · Shiprock, New Mexico · 87420 Voice: (505) 368-4984 Fax: (505) 368-5232

September 5, 2013 Hanna Skandera, Secretary-Designate New Mexico Public Education Department 300 Don Gaspar Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2786 Paul Aguilar, Deputy Secretary New Mexico Public Education Department 300 Don Gaspar Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501-2786

RE: Complaint Against the Gallup McKinley County School District Regarding their Violations of State Law (§22-2-1, §22-2-2, §22-16-2 and §22-8-26, NMSA, 1978) and NMPED Regulations (NMAC 6.42.2.1 through 6.42.2.12) by Illegally Enrolling and Transporting Central Consolidated School District Students in Naschitti, NM to Tohatchi, NM Schools; Request for an Investigation and Cease and Desist Order Against the Gallup McKinley County School District Dear Secretary-Designate Skandera: This letter serves as an official complaint and request for the New Mexico Public Education Department (“NMPED”) to immediately issue a cease and desist order and to conduct an investigation into the Gallup McKinley County School District (“GMCSD”) regarding their serious violations of state law and regulations regarding their illegal enrollment and unlawful transportation of Central Consolidated School District (“CCSD”) students residing in the Naschitti, N.M. area. Ever since the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the GMCSD has been illegally enrolling and unlawfully transporting CCSD students to attend GMCSD schools in the Tohatchi, NM area. There is a clear process under state law that allows boundary/transportation issues to be resolved, yet GMCSD Superintendent Frank Chiapetti has chosen to knowingly violate the law. If the illegal and unlawful actions of GMCSD and Frank Chiapetti are allowed to stand, it would set a very dangerous precedent where school districts all across New Mexico can steal students from other districts. Finally, GMCSD Superintendent Frank Chiapetti’s statements in the August 31 – September 1, 2013 Gallup Independent and actions to knowingly violate state laws also sets a very bad example to students in his district who are expected to follow the rules and obey the law. Upon information and belief, the GMCSD is stealing over 50+ students from our district and is costing our district over $500,000 in lost funding. The GMCSD is also illegally claiming State Equalization Guarantee (SEG) funding, Impact Aid, Johnson O’Malley funds, Title VII funds, school bus transportation funding, and other funding sources through their violations of state law. State law and NMPED regulations clearly require the GMCSD to enter into a transportation agreement pursuant to §22-2-1, §22-2-2, §22-16-2 and §22-8-26, NMSA, 1978 and NMAC 6.42.2.1 through 6.42.2.12. At this point, the GMCSD is clearly violating state law and regulations regarding this matter because there is no transportation agreement in place. In particular, the GMCSD is violating NMAC 6.42.2.8(A), (B), and (C), which states:

NMAC 6.42.2.8 - TRANSPORTATION BOUNDARY AGREEMENTS A. Districts are authorized to enter into transportation boundary agreements with an adjoining district or adjoining districts regarding students living within a specified geographic area where geographical conditions would otherwise make it impractical to transport such students to school within the district where they live. B. A transportation boundary agreement must be approved by both local boards of education prior to a district crossing boundary lines to transport students. C. A transportation boundary agreement shall not duplicate transportation services that are not required to effectuate the provision of this rule. If duplicate transportation services are so required, specific justification shall be provided within the agreement that the requirements of efficiency and economy are met. D. Transportation boundary agreements are not authorized to provide services to students who attend school out-of-district as a matter of choice. GMCSD's September 3, 2013 letter to Secretary Skandera admits that the GMCSD buses are being used to transport "students who attend school out-of-district as a matter of choice." Regulation 6.42.2.8(D) explicitly states that "Transportation boundary agreements are not authorized to provide services to students who attend school out-of-district as a matter of choice." The GMCSC letter also admits that there are no "geographical conditions [that] would otherwise make it impractical to transport such students to school within the district where they live." That is the necessary precondition set out in 6.42.2.8(A) for any such transportation boundary agreement. GMCSD's letter makes it clear that the problem is not geography or any kind of physical problem with getting the students to Naschitti, but instead is simply a matter of choice. I had a phone conversation with GMCSD Superintendent Frank Chiapetti last week that he initiated in which I stated there were no geographic conditions to warrant this need. We would not agree to such action. It would be duplicating transportation services in violation of law. If students wanted to attend GMCSD schools by choice that they would have to provide their own transportation to at least the district line (county line). There is no valid educational reason for students needing to go to his schools because our schools were out performing his. I knew that they were recruiting athletes to Tohatchi High School and to transport those athletes also would be a violation of the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) regulations. In fact Tohatchi High School is a competitor of Newcomb High School, in the same NMAA 2A district, and we will be playing them this Friday in football. I told him that he would be putting that school in jeopardy of being ruled ineligible for state playoffs. I thought warning him that he was putting his school in danger of being ineligible would deter him if nothing else. However I am also told that he has been in conflict with NMAA in the past where he was even banned from going to his own high school’s games for a period of time for his behavior. I warned him not to cross the San Juan County line or I would turn him over to the New Mexico Public Education department. Next thing I hear is GMCSD Superintendent Frank Chiapetti, has publicly stated that the GMCSD will now be running buses into the CCSD without any legal agreement in place and in clear violation of state law and applicable regulations. It was also reported that as of Tuesday, September 3, 2013, the GMCSD has been running buses into Naschitti, NM itself, which is over 6 miles from the San Juan County border. Upon information provided to our district on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, the GMCSD even ran a school bus north of Naschitti, NM.

The illegal actions of the GMCSD may also hurt the children and community of Naschitti by jeopardizing the construction of a brand new $10+ million Naschitti elementary school which is scheduled to start in early 2014. Gallup McKinley taxpayers won’t be paying for that new school, and yet they are illegally stealing our students, and leaving our taxpayers and district paying the bill. The unlawful actions of the GMCSD have also caused a substantial decline in student enrollment and are hurting the existing schools in our district. Further, if our district and taxpayers will be footing the bill for a brand new school in Naschitti, those students should be attending schools in our district. Without any evidence, GMCSD Superintendent Frank Chiapetti publicly and falsely accused CCSD in the August 31 – September 1, 2013 Gallup Independent by stating that “Naschitti has a high number of teachers from the Phillipines” and that “some students complain about problems in understanding them.” According to our records, there are no Filipino teachers employed at the Naschitti Elementary School. Not only is Frank Chiapetti making up his facts and knowingly spreading false and malicious rumors, but his comments are racist and demeaning to teachers of Filipino descent and should not be condoned or tolerated in any capacity. As a state and society that greatly values diversity, Frank Chiapetti’s racist and demeaning comments about Filipino teachers are despicable. On a final note, our schools and students in the Newcomb and Naschitti area have significantly better school grades and test scores than the GMCSD schools in the Tohatchi, NM area. It makes no sense why our students should be sent to underperforming schools in the GMCSD and why our district should be negatively impacted as a result of GMCSD’s illegal actions. Frank Chiapetti’s “logic” and “reasoning” about why the GMCSD should be allowed to illegally steal our students is backward and our district should be allowed to transport GMCSD students to higher performing schools in our District. In fact, students in the CCSD, especially Native American (predominantly Navajo/Diné) students, significantly outperform students in the GMCSD. Further, based on the recent 2012-2013 school report cards and NMSBA student test scores, the GMCSD was the worst performing school district in our region; CCSD on the other hand, was the top performing school district and had the best overall school district GPA. The following charts show where the GMCSD stands in comparison to the CCSD and other school districts in our region.

2012-2013 SCHOOL DISTRICT REPORT CARD AVERAGE GPA’s District 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Central* Aztec Farmington Bloomfield Gallup** Grade C D D D D Average School District GPA 2.06 1.85 1.83 1.57 1.44 Source: 2012-2013 NMPED School Report Cards

Central Schools marked with * Gallup McKinley Schools marked with **

HIGH SCHOOLS IN OUR AREA COMPARED TO TOHATCHI HIGH SCHOOL School 1 2* 3 4* 5* 6 7 Piedra Vista Kirtland Central Bloomfield Shiprock Newcomb Aztec Farmington Score Grade District 78.7 76.7 74.4 74.3 73.9 72.7 71.8 65.9 A A B B B B B B From A

Farmington +3.8 above A Central Bloomfield Central Central Aztec Gallup +1.8 above A -0.6 from A -0.7 from A -1.1 from A -2.3 from A -9.1 from A

Farmington -3.2 from A

8** Tohatchi

Source: 2012-2013 NMPED School Report Cards
Central Schools marked with * Gallup McKinley Schools marked with **

HIGH SCHOOLS HIGH SCHOOL Newcomb High* Tohatchi High** Wingate High READING 2013 – 34.5% 2012 – 26.6% 2013 – 23.5% 2012 – 21.9% 2013 - ??? 2012 - ??? 2011 – 21.1% MATH 2013 – 32.4% 2012 – 25.0% 2013 – 13.6% 2012 – 19.5% 2013 - ??? 2012 - ??? 2011 – 15.3% SCHOOL GRADE 2013 – B 2012 – D 2013 – B 2012 – C N/A N/A N/A

Central Schools marked with * Gallup McKinley Schools marked with **

Source: 2012-2013 NMPED School Report Cards

MIDDLE SCHOOLS MIDDLE SCHOOL Newcomb Middle* Ch’oosghai Community READING 2013 – 30.7% 2012 – 44.0% 2013 – N/A 2012 – ??? 2011 – 12.0% 2013 – ??? 2012 – ??? 2011 – 15.9% 2013 – 22.5% 2012 – 32.2% MATH 2013 – 19.9% 2012 – 22.9% 2013 – N/A 2012 – ??? 2011 – 7.5% 2013 – ??? 2012 – ??? 2011 – 4.7% 2013 – 20.1% 2012 – 24.3% SCHOOL GRADE 2013 – F 2012 – D N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2013 – F 2012 – C

Crystal Boarding

Tohatchi Middle**

Central Schools marked with * Gallup McKinley Schools marked with **

Source: 2012-2013 NMPED School Report Cards

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Naschitti Elementary* READING 2013 – 29.4% 2012 – 41.0% 2011 – 32.0% 2013 – 50.0% 2012 – 44.3% 2011 – 54.2% 2013 – ??? 2012 – ??? 2011 – 12.0% 2013 – ??? 2012 – ??? 2011 – 15.9% 2013 – 37.3% 2012 – 33.6% 2013 – 21.5% 2012 – 27.2% MATH 2013 – 36.4% 2012 – 28.2% 2011 – 22.0% 2013 – 65.3% 2012 – 62.0% 2011 – 68.7% 2013 – ??? 2012 – ??? 2011 – 7.5% 2013 – ??? 2012 – ??? 2011 – 4.7% 2013 – 29.3% 2012 – 33.1% 2013 – 37.4% 2012 – 25.0% SCHOOL GRADE 2013 – D 2012 – B 2011 – C 2013 – C 2012 – B 2011 – A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2013 – F 2012 – F 2013 – F 2012 – F

Newcomb Elementary*

Ch’oosghai Community

Crystal Boarding

Tohatchi Elementary** Twin Lakes Elementary**

Central Schools marked with * Gallup McKinley Schools marked with **

Source: 2012-2013 NMPED School Report Cards

For the reasons stated in this letter, the CCSD strongly requests that the NMPED immediately conduct an investigation and to issue a cease and desist order against the Gallup McKinley County School District regarding their numerous violations of state law (§22-2-1, §22-2-2, §22-16-2 and §22-8-26, NMSA, 1978) and NMPED regulations (NMAC 6.42.2.1 through 6.42.2.12) by illegally enrolling and unlawfully transporting Central Consolidated School District Students in Naschitti, NM to GMSCD schools in Tohatchi, NM Schools. Our district will use all necessary means, including litigation, to defend our district and students against the illegal and unlawful actions of Frank Chiapetti and the GMCSD. Our district will also likely be filing complaints with the United States Department of Education because it is very apparent that Frank Chiapetti and the GMCSD are fraudulently and illegally claiming federal funding (Impact Aid, Johnson O’Malley, Title VII, etc.) for students who legally reside in our district. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. Sincerely & Respectfully,

Donald G. Levinski, Superintendent Central Consolidated School District CC: Ben Shelly, Navajo Nation President/Office of the President & Vice President Rex Lee Jim, Navajo Nation Vice President/Office of the President & Vice President Andrew M. Tah, Superintendent/Department of Diné Education Timothy Benally, Assistant Superintendent/Department of Diné Education Johnny Naize, Speaker/Navajo Nation Council Jonathan Hale, Chairperson/Health, Education, and Human Services Committee Dr. Ferlin Clark, Assistant Secretary/Indian Education - NMPED Sandra Jeff, N.M. State Representative (District 5) Sharon Clahchischilliage, N.M. State Representative (District 4) Frank Chiapetti, Superintendent (GMCSD) School Board of CCSD School Board of GMCSD

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STATE OF NEW MEXICO BLIC EDU('ATION DEPARTM ENT
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SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 8750I-2786
Telephone (505) 827-5800
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SUSANA MARTINEZ Governor

HANNA SKANDERA
STCRETARY OF
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OUCATION

September 6,2013

Mr. Frank Chiapeni Superintendent Gallup-McKirrley County Public Schools P.O. Box l3l8 Gallup, New Mexico 87301 RE:
Bus Transportation for Students in Naschitti, N.M.
:

Dear Superintendent Chiapetti

Thank you for your letter dated September 3, 2012 regarding tlre transportatiorr of students front the Naschitti area currently enrolled in the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools (District). Although I share your concerns for the safety of the children from the Naschitti area who are dropped off by their parents for transportation to the District, I must inform you of applicable rules governing the bus transporlation of students by a school district.

A school district may not cross school district boundary lines to transport students absent a transportation boundary agreement. I encourage you and your Board of Education to enter into a transportation boundary agreement with the Central Consolidated School District in compliance with 6.42.2.8 and 6.42.2.9 of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC). In addition, I must inform you that while 6,42.2.10 NMAC allows a school district to establish a local policy governing the transportation of non-eligible students who live outside the district's boundaries, non-eligible students will not generate funding through the transportation formula. In addition, 6.42.2.10(C) NMAC permits out of district students to board only at the last legal stop of an approved route. That is yet another reason for encouraging you to negotiate a transportation boundary agreement since your district will not be reimbursed under the transportation distribution. Section 22-8-26(A) NMSA 1978 only allows money in the transportation distribution of the Public School Fund to be used for the to-and-from transportation costs of eligible students attending a public school within the school district.
My staff is available to work with the two school districts in attempting the reach a transportation boundary agreement. Should you find that the two school districts are unable to negotiate a

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transportation bourrdary agreemellt; there is a rcsolution process that may be enrployed which is provided in6.42.2.12 NMAC. Your Board of Education will lrave to t'ile a written complaint with the Public Education Department (PED) rcquesting the PED to conduct a study of the issues relating to the boundary dispute and provide written recomnrcndations fior resolving the dispute under the terms of 6.42.2.12 NMAC. The PED will render an opinion in writing to the local boards of education on whether conditions exist whish require a transportation agreement. Since any transportation boundary agreenrent involves the transportation of Native American students, you will need to sonsult with tlre Navajo Nation on any concerns tlrat the Nation may raise concerning the transportation ol these students. See 6.42.2.11 NMAC. The PED will also consider any concerns expressed by the Nava.io Nation in reviewing the issues related to any transportation boundary complaint that may be filed.

ln reviewing your letter, it appears that the students lionr the Naschitti area are attending the Tohatchi Schools as a matter ol'choice. You may want to review 6.42.2.8(D) NMAC regarding whether transportation boundary agreenrents are authorized under such circumstances. Although the students from the Naschitti area may be irr a urrique situation, as a state agency, PED only has the authority granted by state law and in exercising that authority, PED is constrained by what the statutes and state rules provide with respect to the bus transportation of students. As a school district, Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools is likewise constrained by those same statutes and rules and PED expects that your district will comply with them. Since your letter states that you have asked your Legislators to look into amending the law to address the special circumstances that the students in the Naschitti area are facing, that may be a solution to the issues raised in your letter. We are currently in receipt of a letter from Central Consolidated School District also addressing transportation for students from the Naschitti area which we are evaluating with respect to the issues raised in your letter.
Should you have further questions on the procedures described in this letter. please contact me at your earliest convenience at 505-827-6519.

! Finance and Operations

Cc: Dr. Bruce Tempest, President, GMCS School Board Mr. Kevin Mitchell, Vice-President, GMCS School Board
Mr. Joe Menini, Secretary, GMCS School Board Ms. Mavis V. Price, Member, GMCS School Board Mr. Titus J. Nez, Member, GMCS School Board

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