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County helps soften LAPS budget crunch

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Some question why Los Alamos County can’t give the schools money. It can’t because it’s against the law

By Jennifer Garcia

For the past several months, the Los Alamos Public Schools have tried to strike a balance between quality education and a shrinking budget.Public input in the form of surveys has been sought to help guide the district in making program cuts and on Thursday, the results from those surveys will be unveiled to the public.

The district also has found that the amount they will have to trim from the budget is less than what it originally anticipated, thanks to a helping hand from Los Alamos County.

Initially, the district was faced with cutting approximately $600,000 from its budget, however, school administrators asked county officials for help by reducing the amount of money they had been paying the county for certain services.

As a result, the county offered to pick up the cost of two warehouse employees that are shared by the county and the schools. The county will also fund the cost of the LAHS school resource officer and they will reduce by $44,000 a month, the fees charged for the use of the Larry R. Walkup  Aquatic Center.

“We certainly do appreciate the county’s willingness to reduce our budget by not billing us for things we previously paid for,” LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt said. “That had a dramatic impact on our budget and our budget conversation.”


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