Albuquerque Schools Budget for Teacher Loans, Fewer Students | New Mexico News

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CEDAR ATANASIO, Associated Press / Report for America

ALBUKERK, New Mexico (AP) – New MexicoRussia’s largest school district wants to use federal funding to fight the pandemic to prevent layoffs of employees.

Albuquerque’s public schools proposal, released Monday, will channel $ 50 million towards the pandemic to offset the loss of public money associated with declining enrollments.

Superintendent Scott Elder said in a videoconference that the district has lost about 5,000 students and about $ 50 million in government funding.

“One of the main benefits of federal money was that it provided counties with stabilization attempts over the course of a year, without mass layoffs,” Elder said.

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If the final budget is passed, this stabilization will account for 25% of the nearly $ 200 million the district will receive in the next and largest round of federal school aid funds.

About 15% of the proposed budget is aimed at helping chronically absent students.

The district also offered to buy more student laptops, upgrade ventilation, and pay off student loans of up to $ 5,250 for district employees.

School funding in New Mexico is based on the number of students enrolled in the previous year. Over the past decade, enrollment has declined by about 1% annually due to population changes. It fell another 4% last year as some families chose homeschooling over distance learning in public schools.

Attanasio is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that directs journalists to local newsrooms to cover hidden issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.

Copyright 2021. Associated Press… All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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