ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The countdown is on. Gov. Susana Martinez has three more days to take action on the next fiscal year’s budget passed this Legislative session by the Democrats.
One big fear for the state’s largest school district is even more cuts.
Albuquerque Public Schools board members are preparing for cuts in the millions. Tuesday, they met inside APS Headquarters to look over their options.
The district already lost $25 million in the 2017 fiscal year. Right now, board members are looking at four possibilities: a flat budget with no cuts, a two percent cut, a three percent cut and a five percent cut.
Within these scenarios there are more options as to how to function under that budget. That includes furloughs and changes to high school teacher school days. Right now, they teach five out of seven periods. An option is to have them teach six out of the seven periods.
APS Board President David Peercy says he wouldn’t call any option on the table right now a win.
“I think the mood is a little tense about what we’re having to do because we really love our teachers, and we love our students. Anything we do is probably going to affect the classroom,” Peercy said.
From the options being presented Tuesday, board members will be able to pick and choose and introduce new options. If no cuts are made, the district still faces a $13 million shortfall.
Other options to save money include reducing the number of school days by up to five, increasing class sizes and cuts to middle school athletic programs.
The district says decreased enrollment has been a big hit to their budget.
The governor has made it clear she will not sign off on any tax increases and has vowed to call for a special session, meaning cuts will be inevitable.