Citizens group to meet with Department of Justice representative

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The group Concerned Citizens of Curry County is hosting a public meeting on May 20 with Justo Garcia from the U.S. Department of Justice to voice concerns about hiring and instructional practices at Clovis schools.

The group is requesting a civil rights investigation by the Justice Department.

CCCC is a coalition of local chapters of the League of United Latin American Citizens, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Citizens for the Right Choice.

The group is also pursuing plans to start a charter school in Clovis.

Johnny Chavez, a member of CCCC, said Garcia will listen to any ‘injustices’ about the schools or any other topic.

CCCC President David Briseno said there are issues about how people are treated that need to be uncovered.

“He will be here to listen to the community,” Briseno said.

“We can no longer ignore the 25 percent Hispanic dropout rate,” Briseno said, citing data he says the state collects. “We’re losing too many kids.”

A spokesperson for Clovis schools said the district doesn’t calculate dropout rates by ethnicity or race, so she could not confirm Briseno’s figure.

CCCC member Sammy Cordova said the charter school would focus more on academics and less on sports.

“Schools are for the education and future of our kids,” he said.

CCCC member Jose Griego said he wrote a letter of intent to start a charter school in September and the group is working on an application to start a school for students in seventh through 12th grade.