SFPS sees drop in enrollment due to pandemic

Education

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe Public School officials say the pandemic is costing them big time. The school district says they saw 570 fewer students this year.

Superintendent Dr. Veronica Garcia says that’s a much higher loss than usual. She says the drop is because more students are opting for homeschooling during the pandemic and students are moving out of state.

She says this would directly impact the budget, costing an estimated $5 million so the district is asking lawmakers to use pre-pandemic enrollment numbers. “If many of these students return and we have not budgeted for them, that would also create a fiscal crisis. But we don’t know how the numbers in enrollment will stabilize post pandemic, and so in this transitional year, I think it would be prudent to hold districts safe harmless,” said Garcia.

The superintendent also says the district is taking on additional responsibilities during the pandemic. “We have been tasked with the additional duties of doing contact tracing for our employees and students when they do test positive, and it has stretched our nursing staff and other leadership staff within the district this additional duty and it’s been quite stressful,” said Garcia.

Garcia says she’s asking for funding from the CARES Act that was taken away, be restored.

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