As one of its last official acts of this year, the Los Alamos Public Schools passed a $37.9 million operational school budget for 2014-15. That’s a $1.3 million increase from last year’s budget, which was about $36 million. According to district officials, the extra income comes directly from the state.
“That was through the additional funding that the legislature provided to all school districts. That $1.3 million was our share of that state distribution,” said the school district’s chief financial officer, John Wolfe.
The board has also honored the state’s request that all teachers in the system recieve a 3 percent raise.
If this year’s operational budget had a financial priority, it was to cut down on class size, especially in the elementary school levels. In addition to passing the budget, the board also voted to add three elementary school teachers to the elementary schools most impacted by a “bubble” that had swelled some classes, mainly in Aspen, Mountain and Barranca Mesa, to 25 students or more. That will cost $240,000. With salary and benefits, that comes out to about $80,000 each, according to Wolfe, who also added that’s more than an entry level teacher’s salary, but less than a “Level 3” teacher.