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HomeNewsAlbuquerque Public Schools Seeks Community Input on Next Year’s Budget

Albuquerque Public Schools Seeks Community Input on Next Year’s Budget

Albuquerque Public Schools needs community input for the 2024-2025 budget process. To gather thoughts and opinions from APS families and community members, two public events about the budget have been scheduled to give stakeholders the opportunity to express their budgetary priorities.

The school district is preparing for significant financial adjustments, including the end of federal pandemic relief funds.

In his weekly message to the APS community, Superintendent Scott Elder highlighted the importance of the budget process in ensuring the district meets its educational goals, including improving literacy and math proficiency rates and preparing students for future careers or college.

Elder recognized the efforts of APS’ legislative team, and the support from the state legislature who recently passed a $10.6 billion state budget. This budget includes $4.7 billion for public schools and proposes a three percent raise for school employees, along with $40 million in one-time funds for career technical education and $30 million for literacy interventions.

“Speaking of the budget,” Elder wrote, “there’s another big thing happening in the coming fiscal year. The federal pandemic relief funds we’ve relied on for the last few years will be going away. We’ve tried to avoid spending these one-time funds on recurring expenses, but it’s clear that we’re going to have to absorb some of these items into our regular budget. That work is already underway.”

The APS Board of Education is actively seeking input from the community to ensure the budget aligns with the district’s vision and values. Two public forums have been scheduled, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

·       The first meeting, scheduled for February 26, will take place at the Berna Facio Professional Development Center at 3315 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM.

·       The second meeting, scheduled for February 28, will take place at Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School at 6811 Taylor Ranch Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM.

These forums come at a critical time as the district faces the challenge of incorporating items funded by one-time federal pandemic relief into the regular budget. Since 2020, APS has received approximately $378 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds

In the 2023-2024 school year, APS had a budget of $2.2 billion, larger than the City of Albuquerque’s $1.4 billion budget. This was historic funding for the district which has experienced declining enrollment, losing 16,434 students since 2016. During last year’s budget discussions, on May 30, Chief Financial Officer Rennette Apodaca said the district loses approximately $11,000 per lost student.

Last year, the APS Board of Education approved a nearly $2.2 billion budget, marking a 12 percent increase in spending, largely to cover salary raises for teachers and educational staff. The district’s budgetary growth has been supported by legislative appropriations and an increase in funding per student from the state, despite a decline in enrollment.

This community-centered budgeting approach is informed by the district’s “Emerging Better” strategic plan, which aims to align resources with ambitious educational goals, including enhancing literacy and math proficiency, and preparing students for post-secondary success.

The APS Board of Education is calling on families, educators, and community members to participate in the upcoming forums, highlighting the importance of collective input in creating a financial blueprint that supports student achievement and responds to the needs of a changing educational landscape.