Santa Fe Public Schools mulls closing two elementary schools

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the coming weeks, Santa Fe Public Schools could decide to close two elementary schools because of the state’s budget crisis.

The district says as it builds its budget for the next fiscal year, budget concerns are forcing SFPS to “consider any and all cost-saving measures, including school closures.” The district also says it estimates it will experience a decrease in funding anywhere from $4.6 million to $9.45 million.

According to the president of E.J. Martinez Elementary’s PTA, that’s what was sent in a letter to parents of students at EJ Martinez and Nava elementary schools.

On Monday, the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education provided guidance to study the financial and academic impact of school closures. If it were to close the two schools, students would attend neighboring schools.

Principals at both schools say the letters have caused a lot of confusion among parents, staff and students.

The district says these two schools were already on the list for possible closure – pointing to low enrollment and the age of the facilities. However, district officials say they were “forced” to expedite the process.as they brace for millions of dollars in budget cuts for the next school year.

“These two schools have already been identified in December in the facilities master plan being recommended for closure in the next three years.” said Dr. Veronica Garcia, Superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools. “This is dynamic process that we’re moving through and we’re just studying this issue.”

On April 24, 2017, the district will report its findings to the Board of Education.

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