APS Board president Martin Esquivel made my day by attacking me and the Rio Grande Foundation personally. He also offered his own half-baked data on per-pupil spending (as you can see halfway through the story). The data would seem to indicate that per-pupil spending for APS is in the $3,000 range annually.
This is ridiculous. As the National Center for Education Statistics points out, nationwide spending per-pupil is close to $10,000 annually. For our study, I got the data directly from the US Census Bureau. According to the chart on page xiii of this report, New Mexico spent $9,068 per-pupil back in 2008. No state spent less than $5,765 per-pupil. There is no way that APS is spending one-third of the state average on education.
Where is Esquivel getting his data? Who knows? They are not exactly known for their transparency.
The simple fact is that the schools should not be immune to cuts, but massive reforms are needed to increase transparency and improve accountability and performance.