The Legislative Finance Committee’s new report on Albuquerque Public Schools has numerous points of value. One of the requests made in the recent report is that the District:
“Report to the LFC within a year on how it plans to adjust its facilities footprint to declining enrollment;”
May we recommend the District copy the federal “Base Realignment and Closure” model. According to Wikipedia, the BRAC process has been used to close more than 350 installations five BRAC rounds: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005. These five BRAC rounds constitute a combined savings of $12 billion annually. We would argue that BRAC is the single most important money-saving tool the federal government has come up with to date (that’s a low bar for a government that is $28 trillion in debt to be sure…)
The basic concept is that Congress appoints a commission with no political stake in the game and gives them a set of guidelines such as how much money to save and then the commission provides a list of facilities to close based on the mission of the military and overall need. That list goes to an up or down vote of Congress.
APS needs to address its “footprint” according to the report which notes that “Since FY12, APS square footage grew by 21 percent while
enrollment fell by 17 percent.” Also, the report cites a backlog of needed repairs at schools, a problem that could be alleviated by eliminating older, poorly maintained facilities. Those could be turned into in-demand charter schools or sold off for development (and to be put back on the tax rolls).