State to spend record $2.75B on public education

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SANTA FE (AP) – Spending on early childhood programs and public schools in New Mexico will top $2.75 billion in the coming budget year.

That’s the largest amount in state history. It will include funding to implement several new initiatives by the state Public Education Department.

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera tells the Albuquerque Journal she considers the budget a success since state lawmakers had less money than expected to appropriate for the next year due to dropping oil prices.

Still, disagreement persists over whether it will be enough for the state’s 89 school districts to pay teachers and cover costs such as utilities and insurance.

Public school spending makes up about 44 percent of the $6.2 billion budget passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez during the recent legislative session.

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