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County drops after-school program at 10 APS schools

Created: 05/15/2014 10:32 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A simple letter turned the world upside down for parents at ten APS schools on Thursday.   

The letter said Bernalillo county will no longer provide after-school programs at the following elementary schools:

Adobe Acres

Barcelona

Edward Gonzales

Helen Cordero

Kit Carson

Los Ranchos

Mission

Navajo

Rudolfo Anaya

Sierra Vista

After KOB insisted on an explanation, there could be a little relief for the parents who depend on those programs. 

One dad on Thursday told KOB he knows people who literally camped out to get a spot in the county-run after-school programs for their kids, because they are the only programs their families could afford for after-school child care.    

It was a moment of panic for many parents like him when they got that letter.         

Adam Cuevas picked up 9-year-old Selena from her after school program at Rudolfo Anaya Elementary only to be handed a note that said:

"Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation will no longer be providing after-school programming..."

That was followed by a blank, filled in the with name of Selena's school: Rudolfo Elementary.

"I really like it over here and I want it to stay," said Selena.

It means Selena's losing the stability of mentors she's grown up with.

"Well they're really nice and they're funny sometimes," she said.

But her father is losing far more.

"I have a four year old who's going to be in school next year and I need it... I was counting on it for both of them," said Cuevas. "I need it so that I can go to work."

An entire semester of the county's program costs Cuevas the same amount private daycare costs per week.

6-year-old Naveah's mom Krystal Mata said she feels abandoned after reading the letter.

"I don't know if they're bringing in a different program, or if that's just it," said Mata. "What do they expect working parents to do?"

KOB asked the county what it had to say to those working parents and they referred us to Jose Munoz.

Munoz is the executive director of the ABC Community School Partnership -- a non-profit that is contracted by the county, the City of Albuquerque and APS to oversee the management of funding for after-school programs.

Munoz said his organization determined it would be more cost-effective for the county to no longer directly manage the programs.

He assured KOB third party after-school program providers will be brought in to provide services. He said they will be identified prior to the registration for the school year.

Munoz says the third-party after-school programs should be the same cost as what parents are currently paying.

"Hopefully less," he said. 


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