Budget cuts keep Rio Rancho robotics team from going to world championship

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A local school’s robotic’s team said they can’t go to the Robotics World Championship event because of the state’s budget cuts. Now, they’re asking for help.

Up until this year, the ASK Academy always had enough money to send their students off to competitions. However, because of the state’s recent cuts to public schools across New Mexico, the team is now in a holding pattern.

When the team found out they were going to the world championship in Lousiville, KY, they were excited — but now, there’s a problem with getting them there.

“This is an expense that we haven’t accounted for. I mean it’s a welcomed expense, we’re happy to have it, but we just don’t have the funds to cover it,” said Daniel Busse, the General Manager at ASK Academy.

Rio Rancho’s ASK Academy had to shuffle its funds because of state budget cuts from the special session back in October. That meant cutting out trips for the robotics team.

“In the past we’ve been able to get money through our state budget to be able to go back and forth to the competitions, and this year we just weren’t sure how we were going to do it,” said Nevelyn Headrick, the robotics team coach.

Al Goldsmith said his son will be on the robotics team next year, but said the money problems are putting a damper on what should be a proud moment.

“It’s extremely frustrating. From both sides, from him as a student and from my wife who’s a teacher that the state is causing this because they can’t handle their budgets,” he said.

The team started a GoFundMe page to help them raise $7,500 for the trip. Busse said he won’t be denying these students a chance of a lifetime.

“We will figure out a way. There’s got to be a way,” he said.

The event will be next month, and the team has already raised about $1,200 of the $7,500 needed for the trip.

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