A quick look at the Albuquerque Public Schools budget

The Albuquerque Public Schools budgets are always worth a close look. The District which failed to convince voters of the need for a big tax hike back in February was able to get its scaled back bond passed in November. But there are several points worth considering about New Mexico’s largest school district as we move forward to the 2020 legislative session and more discussion of education policy at the State and local levels.

  1.  As explained on page 18 of the budget, APS plans to spend $1,475,755,646 during the 2019/2020 school year;
  2. On page 27 we are told that APS expects to have 79,400 students that year.
  3. Simple math gives us total annual spending of $18,586 per-student by APS.
  4. To say the least APS is hemorrhaging students. Back in FY 2014 (six years ago), the district had 86,700 students. But spending continues to rise and the trend seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Will APS reallocate resources by closing unneeded schools and getting rid of bureaucrats? The district shows no signs of this. And, with both a union-dominated board and Legislature (also flush with oil and gas cash), the District’s day of reckoning appears to be a few years away.

The following are a few of the critical charts taken directly from the APS budget document.