Santa Fe School District passes budget, cuts jobs

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE)- Santa Fe Public Schools are preparing to scale back its staff. School board members voted Tuesday night to eliminate several positions when it passed the budget. According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, cutting close to a dozen jobs will save about $600,000.

This comes as the district struggles to balance its budget amidst a statewide shortage.

While the cuts don’t affect employees as much as they would have with some previously discussed plans, some say it’s still scary for educators.

“We need to work as much as we can to not alarm our employees and many of our employees now are still questioning if they’re going to have jobs,” said Santa Fe teacher’s union President Grace Mayer.

Mayer says it’s hard enough to retain teachers without threatening their jobs. Yet, the district had to cut spending by $1.6 million in order to balance its budget.

This will not solely affect teachers. It also includes consolidation of several, alternative high school programs. That’s set to save $500,000.

Other savings come from a projected drop in special education enrollment. However, that is not set to affect student services. Budget documents reveal that will save the district $300,000.

The board voted 4-1 to approve the budget. The one “no” vote came from school board member, Maureen Cashmon, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican. She says she voted against the budget because it’s too risky to pass when the legislature still doesn’t have a budget.

The approval didn’t come quickly. School board members spent months discussing how to handle state-wide cuts.

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