At the Rio Grande Foundation we have commented regularly in recent years on the rapid growth in per-student spending at New Mexico school districts. This is driven by two major factors, New Mexico’s massive budget growth and the ongoing decline in student numbers.
Albuquerque Public Schools, the State’s largest district unveiled its FY 2024 budget (next school year) and it’s a doozy. As noted on the APS website, total district spending for the upcoming fiscal year will be $2.16 billion.
According to the just-passed budget (which we obtained) the District’s enrollment will have dropped (again) to 68,902. So, dividing the $2.16 billion budget by 68,902 students gets you a mind-blowing spending number of $31,349 PER STUDENT!
That’s an increase of almost 69% since 2020 PER STUDENT. Will APS or any of New Mexico’s other school districts be able to move the needle on student outcomes or is the State just pouring good money after bad?