The Latest: State officials critical of APS district's spending

Apr 20, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on proposed cuts by Albuquerque Public Schools (all times local): 5:10 p.m. State education officials are joining the chorus of people who are criticizing Albuquerque Public Schools for proposed cuts to middle school sports. Deputy Public Education Secretary Paul Aguilar issued a statement Thursday saying parents deserve to know that pay for the district's top administrators has increased dramatically in just five years and now tops $4 million. He also said there are now 35 administrators at the district who earn six figures, nearly double the number in 2011 despite a drop in enrollment. Aguilar said students should be put first rather than administrators. State officials also have suggested that the cuts could be avoided if the district tapped into its tens of millions of dollars in cash balances. The district has repeatedly defended the decision to cut middle school sports, saying some $580,000 would be saved and classroom cuts could be avoided. ___ 1:37 p.m. The Albuquerque community is making sure its school board knows people are not happy about proposed middle school sports cuts. Teachers, coaches, parents and students gathered at the Albuquerque School Board meeting Wednesday to express how detrimental they feel losing sports would be. The cuts are part of the district's plan for its projected $25 million budget reduction. Other cuts include reduced employee work days, bigger classes and a heavier high school schedule. The district's teachers' federation says the district needs to make a better effort at finding creative solutions to the problem, including using its reserve money. The district pulled from its reserves to cover part of its fiscal year 2017 reduction and says it would be reckless to cut it any further.