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Mexico Sues Four of its States Over Education Reform

April 21, 2014

Mexico's federal government has filed lawsuits with the Supreme Judicial Court, the nation's highest tribuna, against the state governments of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Michoacan, and Sonora for failure to comply with the nationwide education reform which was signed into law by President Enrique Pena Nieto last year.

Mexico City, Mexico – Mexico's federal government announced last week that it has filed lawsuits with the Supreme Judicial Court against the state governments of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Michoacán, and Sonora. The complaint alleges that local legislators in those states have not sufficiently modified their education systems to comply with last year’s controversial education reform.

"The possibility doesn’t exist that any government authorities can negotiate what’s been established by law, to the benefit or harm of anybody," Presidential spokesman Eduardo Sánchez said. "The constitution has a clear mandate, and even the president has to act in accordance with the regulations established by Congress."

The mandamus action submitted to the nation's highest tribuna against the state of Oaxaca is based on the state’s refusal to implement the "General Teacher Professionalization Law." Officials in that state also approved a request by the teacher's union - the Coordinadora Nacional de los Trabajadores de la Educación, or CNTE - to allow union delegates to evaluate member teachers instead of federally authorized professional educators as mandated by the new law.

Wasting no time in responding to the lawsuit, Oaxaca Governor Gabino Cué promised during a national television interview that Oxaca would bring its laws into conformity with the federal ones by drafting an entirely new code to regulate the teaching profession.

The lawsuit also alleges that the states of Michoacán, Sonora, and Chiapas have interfered with the ability of the Public Education Secretariat to regulate food and drinks available at schools and have also allowed union delegates to perform teacher evaluations.

Institutional Revolutionary Party Senator Mely Romero Celis said that Peña Nieto has acted responsibly in pushing for the local implementation of the education reform, as local legislatures had been given a six month period to update the legal framework in their states in accordance with the reform.

Deputy José González Morfín of the opposition National Action Party said that he fully supported Peña Nieto’s decision to enforce the education reform, adding that state governments cannot attempt to evade the precepts established in the constitution and federal law.

Jesús López Rodríguez, a Democratic Revolution Party deputy in the Oaxaca State Congress, said that work will begin next week to bring state laws into line with the education reform.

"Some people have been asking for the education reform to be correlated with state law as soon as possible, but each state has its own particularities, and Oaxaca is no exception," López Rodríguez said. "We just have to wait for this process to be completed."

Source: The News