New Mexico education department mistake shuffles $35 million

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is accepting a U.S. Department of Education decision barring the state from reducing funding for school districts that get certain federal aid.

Education Secretary Ryan Stewart says the state would likely lose an appeal.

The federal funding will now go straight to schools surrounded by land that isn’t taxable, like Indian reservations and military installations.

The state Legislature was relying on taking the so-called Impact Aid “credits” to redistribute some of the federal funding across districts for the annual education budget.

Stewart is now asking for $35 million from a reserve fund to cover the budget shortfall.