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Belt-tightening continues for LAPS

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Further cuts needs to be made from the district budget

By Jennifer Garcia

Education leaders from around the state spent the latter part of the week at a conference in Albuquerque, hoping to gain an understanding of exactly how much they are expected to trim from their budgets.
During the legislative session, Gov. Susana Martinez said districts could expect to make a 1.5 percent reduction in their budgets, however, Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera recently announced that the unit value used in school funding is down by 3.4 percent, $126.20 per student, rather than the 1.5 percent Martinez talked about.
Districts already were anticipating cuts because of a halt in federal stimulus dollars and lower state funding. Now they are faced with having to make even deeper cuts.
“There is no budget ‘shortfall,’ the amount of money set aside for New Mexico schools is the same today as it was when the legislative session ended,” Skandera said. “We have invested $56 million more state dollars in our classrooms than last year. We promised to slash the education bureaucracy; this balanced budget protects classroom spending, invests in our priorities and cuts less than 1.5 percent in waste and administration compared to last year’s budget. We’ve kept that promise.”
The announcement on unit value was part of the spring budget workshop for districts, held annually.


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