LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces Public Schools will be presenting its fiscal year 2023 budget to the school board for a vote on Tuesday evening.
This vote comes after a cramped timeline for community input, according to the National Education Association of Las Cruces. A survey that was sent out received 1,400 responses according to a district presentation.
The survey’s deadline was either Friday, May 6, according to the NEA’s report, or Sunday, May 8, according to a district presentation. The final budget was released on Tuesday, May 10. A budget town hall meeting was held Thursday, May 12. The district is asking for a decision from the board on Tuesday, May 17.
NEA leaders worry the district’s timeline on the budget doesn’t give enough time for board members to take into account community response.
“The district finance office is asking school board members to approve nearly $600 million in spending with less consideration than most of us would give to buying a $30,000 car,” stated NEA-LC President Denise Sheehan.
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In her statement, Sheehan also said NEA recognizes budget approval is of the utmost importance.
“Funding is often the difference between a dream and a reality when it comes to creating healthy learning and working environments, inspired learning experiences, and staffing which allows for the individualized support our students need— especially now,” she stated. “And funding is what will help us overcome the monumental educator shortages we currently face.
The board must approve a budget by June 20 to submit to the Public Education Department, which must then review each district’s approved budgets by July 1. The proposed operating budget can be found at www.lcps.net/page/finance-sunshine-portal.
The LCPS school board meeting will be held at the Dr. Karen Trujillo Administrative Complex at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. NEA leaders have organized a gathering at 5 p.m. as an opportunity for educators and community members to discuss the budget ahead of the meeting.
This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Las Cruces Public Schools schedules vote on $600 million budget