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State officials critical of APS spending

Danielle Todesco
April 21, 2017 07:06 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The battle continues between the state and the Albuquerque Public School district, specifically over how the district spends its money. This comes after APS made the drastic move to cut all middle school sports last week.

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The Public Education Department blasted APS's top earners in a statement released Thursday. PED says APS spent more than $4 million on just 35 employees' salaries alone.

PED contacted the KOB newsroom at 4:20 p.m. Thursday afternoon and offered an interview and documents with all the six figure salaries at APS. It begged the question if the state had contacted APS directly to just talk solutions to the budget crisis.

"In 2011, they had 20 employees at over $100,000. Now they're up to 35," said Paul Aguilar, the deputy cabinet secretary for the department.

In order to be fair, KOB pulled the salaries for the PED, including Aguilar. Five employees earn six figures statewide compared to the district's 35. Still, the fight seems to be about much more than just money.

"We're asking them to budget appropriately, to recognize that the needs of kids are important and that they need to be creative in how they get there," Aguilar said.

The recent cut of all middle school sports at APS sparked PED to do some digging on how the district is spending its money, Aguilar said.

"We've had discussions with APS over time," he said.

Aguilar said their budget analysts have provided ideas on how to get through tight times. However, Aguilar points out that APS is budgeting for the upcoming school year expecting a 2 percent reduction in funding.

With no state budget yet, how can you blame them? But Aguilar says that's not wise.

"It seems that it's lacking prioritizing of what's important for kids," he said.

APS spokesperson Monica Armenta said she was not able to verify the salaries with human relations so late. However, she claims APS has to do more with less.

Click here to look up salaries via the Sunshine Portal.

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Danielle Todesco

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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