ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools is asking the state for $25 million for school security upgrades.
The district missed out on the last round of security funding from the state because the district owes the state money. Now, APS is asking for help from lawmakers.
“I don’t think anybody can argue that security funding is very important,” said APS Chief Operating Officer Scott Elder. “When you do the original assessment, it’s $20 million to $25 million.”
That’s how much the district wants for security upgrades.
“Perimeter fencing, card access for doors, vestibules so people have to ring in to get into the schools, and also locks for the classrooms,” said Elder.
Landing the money for those upgrades is a long shot. Two years ago, the state created a capital outlay school security fund that dishes out $10 million a year. But there’s a catch: APS doesn’t qualify because it already gets its share of captial outlay funding from the state.
“APS and every district in the state would like security money,” said Elder.
To qualify for a cut of that security fund, APS would have to return $7 million to the state. Now, the APS school board is asking the legislature to cut them some slack and create another security fund that doesn’t have as many strings attached.
“There’s money and I think it’s really important to apply it to a critical area of need,” said Elder.
Of course, APS is very short on money for fixing up schools right now because voters rejected their bond and mill levy back in February. APS is hoping voters sign off on $300 million in funding this November. About $5 million of that would go towards security upgrades.