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APS Budget Would Boost Funding For At Risk Students

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Hannah Colton / KUNM
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A mural adorns a wall at Whittier Elementary in SE Albuquerque, one of several schools the state has targeted for improvement in recent years.

Albuquerque Public Schools has finalized a nearly $1.5 billion budget. It reflects a nearly 14% hike in state funding, even though enrollment is dropping. The new money is in response to a landmark education equity ruling.

Last year’s Yazzie-Martinez ruling required lawmakers to direct more funding to student populations the state has long underserved: students with disabilities, English language learners, Native American students and students from low-income backgrounds.

For APS, that means an additional $34 million for those at-risk students for the coming year, almost half of which will go to shrinking class sizes. The money will also go to things like wrap-around services, community schools and the district’s newcomer program.

There’s another brand new pot of money – nearly $19 million – for programs to extend the amount of time students spend in school.

The budget now has to be approved by the state Public Education Department.

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Credit Albuquerque Public Schools
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Excerpt from a May 20, 2019 presentation to the APS board of education.

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Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.

Hannah served as news director at KUNM and reported on education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. She died in November 2020.
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