Voters to decide on APS funding, improving classrooms
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Public School classrooms are either too hot, or too cold. We know the old heating and cooling systems are to blame.
Now, your vote could impact the future of those heating and cooling repairs and so much more.
On Tuesday, voters will decide if they want to continue spending tax dollars on school improvements.
District officials say this money is absolutely critical. A lot of school security funding comes from those dollars – like adding fencing at every school and surveillance cameras.
School officials say this election will guide what comes next.
“The schools are old. They need the support. This is what makes the environment where learning can occur,” said APS Superintendent Scott Elder.
The district is asking folks to vote for a continuation of the district’s Capital Improvement Tax that’s set to expire in 2024.
“There is no tax increase, it just maintains what currently exists,” said Elder.
The money is used for all sorts of projects from heating and cooling repairs and upgrades to in-classroom equipment and technology. It also covers school security like magnetic card readers and security gates.
“A lot of our security equipment money comes out of that funding, so the fencing the cameras, the vestibules, the systems that tie us to the Albuquerque Police Department and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. Those dollars come from this type of money that’s why it’s so important,” Elder said.
He says the district has been working over the years to get school security upgrades districtwide, but there’s a lot of work to do, and a lot of money to maintain those efforts.
The same goes for the yearly heating and cooling headaches.
“In New Mexico, we use swamp coolers and when it gets too hot those things can get overwhelmed. We are in the process of trying to retrofit schools with refrigerated air, as we build new schools we move that direction,” said Elder.
If approved, the tax would continue through 2030 – generating around $270 million.
Polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m.