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Las Cruces schools dealing with millions in budget cuts

Public schools in New Mexico are dealing with another round of budget cuts.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill last week that would strip $46 million from cash reserves of local school districts.

The governor originally proposed cutting $120 million to help balance the state's $69 million budget shortfall.

Las Cruces Public Schools is still trying to recover from last September’s special session that cut $3.4 million from the district.

LCPS has already cut back on instructional materials, traveling and bus routes to save money.

That was done on top of an additional $3.5 million budget cut to the current fiscal year.

Jo Galvan, a spokeswoman for the district, said the $7 million blow is adding more stress to the district’s dwindling savings account.

Galvan said half of the district’s savings account is gone and the district can’t afford to hire new teachers.

"It has a huge impact on the whole system and bottom line is it impacts classrooms. Anytime you have a cut as big as that, there's going to be a trickle down affect throughout the whole system,” Galvan said.

Galvan said less money in the school’s reserves could mean more students per classroom.

The governor said her bill wouldn't have an impact on classroom spending.

“This compromise represents responsible cuts that preserve classroom spending and maintain the quality of district programs for students and staff alike,” Martinez said.

But officials for the Las Cruces Public School District disagree.

“We wish oil and gas will recover and we wish that it’s not being taken out of public education and it continues to dwindle our funding over the years. At some point we have to find a different solution,” Galvan said.

The governor says she’s confident her bill will benefit students and teachers in the state.

“Throughout the process, I’ve made it very clear that we have to protect classroom funding, and I am confident that this bill allows our state to continue to serve our students and support our teachers with the same commitment as ever,” Martinez said.

According to a national education report, New Mexico Schools are ranked 49th in the country for education.

Today KFOX14 asked the governor to elaborate why she isn’t concerned for schools in the state, but she wouldn’t answer the question.

The district is urging parents who have concerns about their child's education to contact their state legislators.

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