Connect with:
Tuesday / June 25.
HomeNewsAlbuquerque Public Schools Board Approves $2.15 Billion Budget for 2024-25

Albuquerque Public Schools Board Approves $2.15 Billion Budget for 2024-25

Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education approved a $2.15 billion budget for fiscal year 2024-25.

APS approved the new budget on May 29 in a special meeting to approve the proposed budget for fiscal year 2024-25. The budget includes funding for operational costs, transportation, instructional materials, food services, and athletics. This year’s budget approval follows last year’s $2.2 billion budget, which is a $50 million decrease from last year. The decrease in budget is the result of the expiration of federal ESSER funds and declining student enrollment.

“Our fiscal year 2025 budget prioritizes the board goals while honoring the guardrails,” said Rennette Apodaca. “We provided the projected revenues and expenditures in each area, aligning our budget to APS board goals and ensuring that the expenditures honor the guardrails.”

The 2024-25 budget allocates $1.03 billion to the operational fund, maintaining a strong focus on day-to-day school operations. This includes teacher and staff salaries, classroom materials, and general school maintenance. A substantial portion of this fund is dedicated to ensuring compliance with state mandates on staffing patterns and minimum salaries, including the state mandated three percent pay increase for all school staff. Also included in the state mandates are  minimum $25,000 salaries for educational assistants, minimum $50,000 salaries for level one teachers, $60,000 salaries for level two teachers, and to $70,000 salaries for  level three teachers. Principals’ salaries are also adjusted based on responsibility factors, with elementary school principals earning a minimum of $87,500.

The capital funds portion of the budget stands at $581.8 million, supporting the district’s infrastructure and facilities. Apodaca explained this includes maintenance and renovation projects for existing schools, as well as the construction of new buildings. Capital funds also cover significant one-time expenses, such as upgrades to heating and cooling systems, ensuring that school environments are conducive to learning.

Federal and state grants contribute $230.7 million to the budget, which Apodaca described as “significant external funding aimed at various educational programs and services.” These grants support a wide range of initiatives, from special education and Title I programs to after-school tutoring and community engagement projects.

The Budgeting Process

The budget development process was extensive and collaborative, spanning several months and involving multiple presentations and workshops.

Initial discussions began in January, followed by budget presentations to the Board of Education and workshops with school principals and department leaders. This rigorous process culminated in the final approval at the May 29 meeting.

“As I start my tenure as Superintendent, we will see how the expenditures are connected to the goals and guardrails,” said Acting Superintendent Dr. Gabriella Durán Blakey. “Next year, we will begin the budget process sooner to better connect schools to how their budgets align with these goals.”

During the meeting, board members discussed the need for strategic abandonment and efficient use of funds – a practice of stopping funding to projects that are not producing results. Member Courtney Jackson said, “Strategic abandonment is necessary to ensure that our resources are used effectively.”

The approval of this budget was part of APS’ commitment to strategic investment in student outcomes. “Communities have created school districts for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to improve student outcomes and that needs to be the priority focus of everything that we do,” said Board President Danielle Gonzales.

The board of education unanimously approved the budget.