ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As debate over the state budget continues, Albuquerque Public Schools released a video Tuesday to help parents understand its budget crisis. Yet, some believe it has an agenda.
The video walks parents through how APS spends its money, but the message is clear, the district just doesn’t have enough and has been hurting since 2008.
According to the APS website, the total budget stayed flat the past two years at about $1.3 billion. As the district waits to find out its final budget for the next school year, it said it is definitely bracing for more cuts. APS said this school year was the first time they suffered from mid-year cuts.
The video explains the district’s finances – or the lack thereof — through the story of a girl named “Hope.” A spokesperson for the district said the video came about after they were flooded with questions about next year’s budget.
“People wanted to know why are you building new schools if you don’t have the money. Those are two separate pots of cash, you can’t mix them,” said Monica Armenta, spokesperson for Albuquerque Public Schools.
The video talks about the district’s high cost of operating because of the large population of low income students and large special education program.
“We’re proud to serve one of the most vulnerable student populations, even if costly,” said Armenta in the video.
Some may say the video is propaganda, but the district insists it just laid out its financial reality.
“We believe it is our responsibility to tell our parents and our students and our community exactly what’s happening,” said Armenta.
Parents had mixed feelings about the video’s intentions, but said they did find it informative.
“Even if it’s not the right answer or the best news, I’d like to see it addressed somehow,” said a parent.