Scandal at TMS: Long Term Problem

By: Bill Whaley
24 October, 2013

TMS sends out press release and admits Special Ed shortchanged.


According to The Taos News, in a story posted Oct. 22, by Elizabeth Cleary, “The superintendent, principals and the board of education of the Taos Municipal School District face the possibility of suspension after the state found issues with the district’s special education program.

“Weston said the issues within the Taos school district are “the reflection of a long-term problem.” Weston said the district must find a way to provide special education students with all of the services they are due. “There is no excuse,” he told board members. “You have to provide these services.”

“Additionally, the district is still operating under the guidelines of a corrective action plan the state handed down in October 2011. The plan is the result of complaints from five families of special education students that year. At the time, 55 students were identified as needing compensatory services to make up for services that should have been provided and were not. These services include physical, speech and language therapy.

“A total of 362 files were identified as being in some way out of compliance in spring of 2012, but since Special Education Director Megan McPeek started with the district in September 2012, the department has whittled that number down to 50.”

Taos Friction congratulates both The Taos Municipal Schools and The Taos News for finally confessing to issues that many know to be a decades old problem re: Special Education. For years both TMS and The Taos News have covered up scandal at Special Ed. Since the state reimburses TMS for from twice to five times the amount of compensation for Special Ed students, one can only speculate that the omission of services has been a way for TMS to subsidize administrative and teacher salaries. The Special Ed program has been accused of using the funds for parties and travel expenses.

The victims of the Special Ed program are those who need physical, mental, emotional and behavioral help. Sure, some folks, through luck or influence or advocacy, got help. But untold numbers have not.


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