New Mexico lawmakers in 2019 set aside funding for extended learning time, which several Albuquerque schools took advantage of this year. Now, all Albuquerque public schools are being asked to consider adding 10 days to their year, sparking concern and confusion among teachers and parents at year-round schools.
The district is asking each school to vote – either stick with the traditional 184-day year, or change to one of two calendars with 194 instruction days. But those options don’t accommodate year-round schedules that a handful of alternative schools have used for years.
About a dozen people spoke about their concerns at Wednesday's school board meeting. Cielos Griego, a parent at Mary Ann Binford Elementary School, told board members that undoing the year-round calendar would take away needed breaks throughout the year and be especially hard on single, working parents.
"They’ve already set up their work schedule to coincide with the alternative schedule," Griego said. "So a lot of them are really concerned about how they’re gonna be able to stay at their job that they’ve had for so long and continue to provide for their families."
Board members apologized for what they said was an oversight in the calendar process.
In an interview Friday, Jan. 17, APS officials told KUNM they will add the year-round option, but it has to be approved at the next board meeting on Feb. 5. That leaves schools a week to decide by Feb. 12.
Schools that opt for the 10 extra days will still have to apply for extended learning time funding with the state.
This story is part of the project: Your N.M. Government. Funding for our legislative coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the New Mexico Local News Fund and KUNM listeners like you.