ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The close vote approving Albuquerque teachers' union contract will get a do-over because one of the seven votes came in by text and not voice.
The contract passed 4-3 during the Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting on Monday. Opponents of the contract were critical of allowing teachers to collect pay while serving in the Legislature and of a review process they said is slow and complicated making it difficult to fire bad teachers.
One of the board members, Analee Maestas, was happy with the contract but had a family emergency. So she joined the meeting by phone.
But when it came time to vote on the contract, board members said they couldn't hear her and asked her to text it in.
Board President Paula Maez said conference calls and voting is allowed under board policy. After the meeting, however members questioned if the text-in vote was valid.
"She sat on the phone for four hours, and she continued to participate in the meeting, but because she couldn't talk, she was texting," Maes said. "We just don't want any questions over the union votes, so we are just going to do all four of them over again."
The re-vote will happen at the board's next meeting on Sept. 5. Maes doesn't expect any of the votes to change, but it's possible they could.
She also said the board will look at their policy to see if it needs to be updated to include texting, Skype and other technology.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.