APS Real Cost Per Pupil: $14,525

I have written a great deal this week about annual spending on public education in New Mexico. Read here and here.

APS Board Chairman Martin Esquivel attacked RGF as “right wing,” etc. for citing Census data claiming that per-pupil spending in NM is $9,000 annually. Esquivel strongly denied that and cited numbers approximating $3,000 annually. Well, the good news is that we have firm data on what APS spends. And, to put it nicely, APS spends way MORE than the $9,000 annually put out by the Census Bureau.

According to the APS website, the total budget for the district this year is $1.3 billion. Also according to APS figures, the district educates 89,500 students. From there it is simple math. How do the numbers shake out? It turns out that APS actually spends a remarkable $14,525 annually per-pupil.

As Adam Schaeffer of the Cato Institute points out in his recent report on education spending, APS is not alone in attempting to obfuscate how much it really spends on education. If Esquivel is so concerned about a 500 student school that is making due with “only” one principal, the issue is in mis-allocation of resources, not a lack of resources.