ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools has announced that middle school students will still be able to compete in volleyball, basketball and track and field next school year despite an announcement earlier this month that APS was cutting middle school sports.
The district says the change was made possible under a plan being developed by the APS Athletics Department.
“Despite our budgetary predicament, we really want to avoid cuts that directly impact the classroom, and we realize that engagement in extracurricular activities including sports can contribute to the academic success of our students,” said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy.
APS is working with principals, coaches and the community to keep the sports for another year.
Albuquerque Public Schools will also continue to offer PE, intramural sports and other programs like flag football and lunchtime basketball.
The district says athletics may still be affected when it comes to equipment, uniforms and schedules. There’s also talk of charging admission for middle school competitions or looking for businesses to sponsor events.
Families KRQE News 13 spoke with said it is worth it.
“I think the kids need sports at school,” said a woman whose grandson will be starting middle school next year.
“First they were cutting it, so I thought it was kind of sad but now they’re not, so I’m kinda happy,” said Elijah Montoya, who will begin sixth grade next year.
APS said the cut would have saved the district $580,000 as it braces for an expected $26 million budget shortfall.
In response to the announcement on Wednesday, the governor released the following statement:
This is a win for both kids and parents, who made their voices heard over the last week. The fact is, APS has shown time and again that they have distorted priorities by putting top-level administrators before students. We hope they will think twice before shutting down athletics while they spend millions of dollars on PR specialists and lobbyists. – Gov. Susana Martinez