“Budget cuts” hit Santa Fe Schools

We are told by the Santa Fe New Mexican that Santa Fe’s public school district is expecting a “budget shortfall between $9 million and $13 million for fiscal year 2024.”

The article readily notes that this is the result of a falling student population and even notes that the District expects a decline of 250 students year-over-year. So, while there ARE certain fixed costs there are obviously other costs that can be reduced as student populations decline (as they have for years).

What is really notable is that the article notes the expected student population is 10,946 and the District’s budget is approximately $320 million.  Simple division gets us per-pupil spending of a robust $29,234 PER STUDENT. The number is up from the $25,000 per-pupil that Santa Fe schools were spending back in 2019/2020.

If you can’t educate children at over $29,000 per student you’re doing something wrong. Of course, it isn’t just Santa Fe. As the chart below highlights New Mexico public schools in general are losing students even while spending continues to grow. Perhaps they ALL are doing something wrong.