ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thousands of parents around the Albuquerque area just found out they’re going to need to come up with new summer plans for their kids.
The state is giving a popular summer school program the ax.
Ten schools are facing cuts to their free summer programs for students in grades K-3. That means a lot of parents are now scrambling to find a backup plan
“My kids were like, ‘What are we going to do mommy?'” said Patricia, whose kids were signed up.
Parents at Zuni Elementary School say they have about a month to figure where their kids will spend the summer.
“Well, I was very disappointed, very surprised,” she said.
Parents at 10 Albuquerque schools got the letter from the district saying the K-3 Plus Summer Program was being cut.
Albuquerque Public Schools says these were direct cuts made by the Public Education Department and not the district.
The 25 day program is meant to “narrow the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and other students.”
“I’m kind of mad, I was talking with my wife this morning, I don’t know what we’re going to do now,” said Dennis Baldonado.
He says his incoming third grader could have benefited.
“It was going to be regular school, I mean it would have helped him with his reading and writing,” he said.
APS says the program serves about 4,500 students each summer.
These cuts at select schools will mean about 2,000 fewer spots.
Another mom KRQE News 13 spoke with says this puts parents in a pickle because many summer programs have already closed registration. It also means some families may need to fork out thousands of dollars to do something else this summer.
K-3 Plus is a statewide program.
KRQE News 13 reached out to PED to ask how many other other districts also faced cuts and how much is being saved by doing this. PED issued the following response:
Helping struggling students learn is at the core of the Governor’s education reforms. Since 2010, we have increased funding for this program by 200 percent, and it serves more than 15,000 students statewide. Sadly, instead of investing in this program, APS has chosen to spend millions and millions of dollars on six-figure salaries, lobbyists and an army of public relations specialists. This is yet another example of their distorted priorities. This is becoming common place with APS after they threatened to cut middle school athletics earlier this month while administrators continue to earn six figure salaries.