Mexico president sets aside education reform

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered his Cabinet ministers Tuesday to ignore the education reforms put in place by the previous administration while congress tries to work out replacement legislation.

López Obrador sent a memorandum saying the reforms he promised to repeal upon taking office should no longer guide government actions. He said congress is trying to reach consensus with teacher unions and parents on new legislation.

His instructions also said the treasury ministry will control the teachers’ payroll.

The constitutional changes passed under President Enrique Peña Nieto aimed to modernize Mexico’s public schools and take control from the powerful teachers’ unions.

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The overhaul called for examinations and evaluations for teachers, and it ended union control of hiring and promotions of teachers. It also sought to end the practice of teachers selling their posts to others.

The president’s decree drew criticism from some opposition legislators as well as others.

Former supreme court justice José Ramón Cossío said via Twitter that López Obrador’s move would be easily challenged in court.

René Jiménez, coordinator for the Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, called the order “an unconstitutional act.”

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