ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –”She wouldn’t do well, she doesn’t do well with change, she really likes going to school here,” says Melissa Brown. Her daughter, a second grader at Kirtland Elementary, is one of 164 students at the school who could eventually be moved to another school.
An Albuquerque Public Schools Committee made the proposal this week to make big changes at a handful of schools as part of what they call a “Right Size” effort. If the proposal moves forward, APS will continue to use all of the sites but for different purposes.
Schools including Kirtland, La Luz, and Duranes elementary schools – as well as Polk Middle School – would be converted to early childhood centers, pushing the students to other schools. APS believes moving students could save money and makes sense after a decade of declining enrollment.
The district has lost more than 18,000 students over the last 10 years. “With just declining enrollment we just don’t have the need, necessarily, for the amount of buildings that we have and so it was really to kind of bring an efficiency structure to APS,” Courtney Jackson, an APS Board Member said.
But parents like Brown say this could be a challenge for her family. “I don’t think that they should change the schools. I mean, there’s [sic] a lot of students here who, they live across the street. A lot of parents who work and their kids walk to school. That would not only impact my kids but the neighborhood and I don’t think that’s fair,” Brown says.
Joshelynn Yazzie, who has a 5th grader at Kirtland, also doesn’t want to him moved. “My kids been here since Kindergarten so I don’t know. It’s just going to be sad.”
Other elementary schools, like Los Padillas and Corrales, would be expanded to K through 8th. “Now with them combining them together, they have a better opportunity to get the resources that they need while, at the same time, helping APS on their efficiency and really looking at our budget,” Jackson said.
This proposal was just introduced Monday night and APS says there will be meetings planned for input. If approved, the switch would happen over the next several years. For more information on the proposal, click HERE.