Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus
From the Superintendent’s Desk:
As we wait for news about a Special Legislative Session, here is an update about budget and legislative items of interest to the Los Alamos Public Schools.
First, please join us in extending sincere thanks to our local legislators for their hard work and long hours during the 60-day session. Knowing that New Mexico’s economic situation was serious cause for concern, we can all appreciate their support for our employees and the many attempts to make educational improvements. Thank you!
Let’s also extend sincere thanks to our School Board for developing a set of legislative recommendations that showed strong support for our students and staff.
We are closely watching several bills that require the Governor’s action or “pocket veto” by April 7.
- Senate Bill 462 – if signed by the Governor, would return about $530,000 taken from the LAPS Cash Balance account (note: the October 2016 Special Legislative Session ended in cuts to LAPS Operation funds, Instructional Materials and Transportation). I am pleased to report that these funding cuts did not result in any furlough days for LAPS staff. In addition, we protected LAPS classroom funding for 2016-17. (We did, however, see other school districts implementing furlough days and reductions in teaching staff.)
- House Bill (HB) 2 General Appropriations Act – includes funding for public schools https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=H&LegType=B&LegNo=2&year=17
- HB 185 Limit School Testing Days https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=H&LegType=B&LegNo=185&year=17
- HB 211 Next Generation Science Standards https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=H&LegType=B&LegNo=211&year=17
Even though we are headed for a special session, the Public Education Department requires that we meet established deadlines; thus, the LAPS budget for 2017-18 must be submitted to the state by May 17, 2017.
Here are budget ideas being considered by the School Board:
- Building a budget that meets Strategic Plan Focus Areas;
- Assuring that no teachers are laid off (this is unfortunately what many other districts are facing);
- Reducing District Office staff, paperwork and overhead; and
- Making staff pay a top priority. This year’s budget will require some hard decisions.
The budget development process includes School Board meetings, regular LAPS Budget Committee meetings, requests for input, and two public meetings. You are invited to attend the Community Budget Meetings scheduled from 5:30- 7 p.m. on:
- Thursday, April 20
- White Rock Library
- 133 Longview Dr., White Rock
Monday, April 24
- Los Alamos High School Speech Theater
- 1300 Diamond Dr., Los Alamos
The LAPS Budget Committee also invites you to share ideas for the 2017-2018 school year. Click here to share your thoughts by Friday, April 7, 2017: