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Update: Superintendent Responds To Trinidad Recall Effort

Published On: Mar 16 2012 06:48:26 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 16 2012 11:50:19 AM CDT

The following is from our news partners at Trinidad And Las Animas County News:


A local parents and concerned citizens group held a Friday press conference announced they would be circulating a no-confidence petition for anyone to sign who is not happy with the Trinidad superintendent.

The group calling itself "The Concerned Parents and Community of Trinidad" drew a crowd of 50 students, parents, teachers and community members at Cimino Park Friday afternoon the press conference lasted about 15 minutes.

The group is hoping to gather 3,000 signatures of no confidence by either the March 27 board of education meeting or the April 24 meeting. Around 75 signatures were gathered Friday after the press conference.

Kelly Ferdula, the spokesperson for the group, said, "The CPAC is asking the community of Trinidad to sign this "Vote of No Confidence" petition asking for the resignation of first year Trinidad School District #1 Superintendent Dr. Manuel Rodriguez."

Ferdula stated reasons that included:

~His alleged portrayed false and negative image of the district and its finances. ~The possibility of losing teachers, students and staff to other area schools. ~His computer-based learning system with no teacher or administrative input. ~Alleged inadequate program training and technology resources. ~Allegedly pulling children out of core classes for online course work to determine student learning. ~His alleged unauthorized equipment purchases without seeking board approval. ~His proposed budget cuts with the group believes are extreme and not in the best interest of the district or community. "We believe that Dr. Rodriguez is not a good fit for the district or community, nor is he working in the best interest of the district," Ferdula added. "His ineffective leadership is having a negative impact on the education of our children in the district. We are very pleased with the turnout and response today.

UPDATE: Dr. Rodriguez has sent Newschannel 13 a response to the no-confidence petition drive. It appears below in it's verbatim form:

The attached report is intended to give you background regarding the current status in the district. Additionally, the district?s status is compounded by our expenditures exceeding our revenue on any given month due to the high percentage (80%) of our monthly expenditures directly related to payroll requirements. Also, considerations must be student enrollment, state and local funding, and the total number of full time equivalents (FTE) which, must be aligned in efforts to keep the district budget balanced. Not to overlook the essence of any public school system in the country: student learning and student achievement, which in our district is below the state and federal standards.

Further, regarding the economic downturn in Colorado, and the negative financial impact nationally and internationally has also impacted our fiscal condition in Trinidad; however, our responsibility and obligation remains. It is necessary to focus our efforts on how to keep the district solvent, improving student learning, and student achievement, and maintaining the food service program viable in our efforts to provide daily nutrition to our students. Our Board of Education is facing a difficult decision in their obligation to maintain the district solvent. Unfortunately a major consideration has to be, ?How to balance the expenditures with the district?s revenues?? The board members, and I as superintendent, individually and collectively feel the pain of every member in the community because education impacts each one of us, either directly or indirectly.

All the Best Manuel B. Rodriguez, Ed. D. Superintendent Trinidad School District # 1


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