State cuts to public education leave Las Cruces Public Schools struggling

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Major cuts to public education in New Mexico have left Las Cruces Public Schools struggling to provide basic resources to students.

Right now, schools throughout Las Cruces are on such a tight budget, many programs had to be cut for the school year.

On Thursday, spokeperson for the district said the state is not providing adequate funding needed for students.

Dr. Gregory Ewing, the district's superintendent, said the state is not funding public education at the level that it used to.

As a result, he says, LCPS is dealing with several issues, such as fewer bus routes for students to get to and from school.

We spoke Thursday with Mary Duran, who said a cut in funding to education is a direct cut to our kids.

"That is horrible because some of the kids don't have any transportation and they rely on the bus,” Duran said.

The district was also forced to cut field trips for students.

"I think going on field trips is really important. It's part of our learning experience. Some students are more hands-on learners and I think it's just part of the school experience that students need to have,” Toni Holguin said.

Ewing said even though the district is working with less, it is looking for others ways to save money without affecting classrooms.

Among them is having district employees work as substitute teachers.

“We're all going to substitute this school year. We're gonna spend three days in a school actually working in a classroom. We spend $2 million a year just on substitute teachers alone,” Ewing said.

Ewing said the district was suppose to receive about $700,000 from the state last month, but that didn’t happen.

"The governor signed that law but the date of July 1 which, is when our physical year begins, was crossed out so we're waiting to hear from our official... (at) the (state) Public Education Department of when that money will arrive,” Ewing said

Ewing said the district has turned in a balanced budget to the school board requesting that $1.9 million that was cut from the central office administration, be returned to the classrooms.

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