Bill could be disasterous for LA schools

-A A +A
By The Staff

As school board members we feel that it is necessary to ask our constituants to please read proposed House Bill 241.This proposed legislation would drastically modify the formula used by the Public Education Department to fund school districts in our state.How will HB 241 affect Los Alamos Public Schools?• Although $350 million will be added to the total state school funding pot, Los Alamos Public Schools will lose $1.87 million.

• The state average increase per district will be 28.09 percent, Los Alamos Public School’s “increase” will be -7.08 percent.

• The loss of $1.87 million in funding would affect core academic programs, career/technical education, gifted programs, bilingual-multicultural programs, arts and music, health and physical education, special education and appropriate staff, and athletics and extracurricular activities.

• Gifted education will no longer fall under the umbrella of special education. There will be inadequate gifted funding for our identified gifted population and no Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

While HB 241 has very good intentions for the rest of the state, it has potentially disastrous ramifications for LAPS.The proposed funding formula in HB 241 will cut LAPS state funding by more than $1.87 million. We are one of only three districts that will lose money. The other two districts’ losses combined are less than $90,000.A “Hold Harmless” provision of the bill guarantees LAPS will receive no less than the funds received this year plus an inflation factor. However, this guarantee is only extended for two years. After two years, LAPS will be required to absorb the $1.87 million loss.

With additional funding for education of $350 million, is there no way to increase it to $352 million so that truly no district is harmed by this new formula?

Los Alamos is a community that takes education seriously. It is imperative that parents, students, LAPS staff, LAPS administrators and the community as a whole have a comprehensive understanding of HB 241 and understand the major effects it may have on our ability to offer quality educational programs to our children.

To read House Bill 241 and track it through the committees see http://legis. state .nm.us/LC.