New Mexico schools begin to spend $1.5 billion pandemic aid

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials are beginning to spend $1.5 billion in federal pandemic relief set aside for school districts and the Public Education Department.

The Legislative Finance Committee said in a release Thursday that school districts have spent around 4% of the funds so far.

They’ve got plenty of time to budget the three rounds of relief money, which have deadlines between the fall of 2022 and 2024.

School districts say they’ve spent millions on laptops for students, safety equipment for schools, and hazard pay for frontline workers.

They’re also planning to use the money to ramp up summer programs and tutoring.