Cuts to New Mexico summer school program hit students

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Several public school districts in New Mexico say they are reeling from state funding cutbacks to a summer program aimed at extending the school year for disadvantaged students in third grade and younger.

At a legislative hearing on Wednesday, superintendents from school districts based in Deming, Santa Fe and Albuquerque described working in concert with state public education officials to attract more students to the summer extension program only to see funding slashed abruptly this year.

The Legislative Education Study Committee says student enrollment in the K-3 Plus program has been reduced by about 5,000 children to 15,000 this summer.

The program typically extends schooling for 25 days. Public Education Department Policy Director Matt Pahl says the cuts offset previous overspending and budget reductions by the Legislature to other grant programs.