School superintendents explain budget problems to lawmakers | KOB 4

School superintendents explain budget problems to lawmakers

Patrick Hayes
Updated: September 23, 2020 06:24 PM
Created: September 23, 2020 04:38 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico school superintendents gave lawmakers a closer took at their budgets Wednesday.

Dennis Roch, president of our state’s Superintendents Association, said districts are still seeing the same problems they brought up months ago including how they’re being funded.


"As you know very well, the budget is based on prior year funding and last year’s enrollment was what it was – a normal school year. And this year’s funding is based on last year’s numbers," he said.

Albuquerque Public Schools reports a 4,000 student drop compared to the previous school year, which equates to 36 million fewer dollars. 

APS Superintendent Scott Elder told lawmakers some parents are choosing not to send their kids to kindergarten until there’s a vaccine.

'We believe many families are taking what we’re calling a red shirt year, and they’re holding their kids back for that one year to give time for a vaccine to be created and more medical considerations to improve," Elder said.

Elder wants lawmakers to fund districts based on previous year's number that way they have enough money when students return.

APS, which is the largest district in our state, claims it's facing a $19 million shortfall because of the pandemic. And that’s after help from the federal government. 

Rio Rancho public schools is also seeing a decline in enrollment. 

They told lawmakers about 800 students did not sign up, but they anticipate them coming back when schools reopen. 

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