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Las Cruces Public Schools hoping to avoid staff, program cuts

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The Las Cruces Public School district had teachers, parents and staff participate in a conversation Friday afternoon about the future of the district's budget as the state battles Covid-19.

"We know that we have to build in a lot of room into the budget anticipating that cuts will happen at the (legislative) special session," said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo.

"Right now, we're really trying to protect people and programs," Dr. Trujillo told ABC-7. "We're really trying to make sure we're in a position to keep our current employees employed and avoid any reduction in force."

The district will submit its budget to the New Mexico Public Education Department next Wednesday, according to the district's slideshow that was a part Friday's public presentation.

However, Dr. Trujillo said the district will likely have to adjust its budget after the New Mexico Legislature meets for a special session.

"So, we know that whatever decisions are made on this budget, in six weeks, we'll be going back to make adjustments to that budget," Dr. Trujillo explained.

As ABC-7 reported in April, 40-percent of New Mexico's current state budget relies on oil and gas revenue, which continues to plummet.

"It is a huge portion of the general fund of the budget every single year," said Dr. Trujillo. "New Mexico gets hit double because of that dependence on oil and gas.

The New Mexico Public Education Department has also not yet announced whether the state will have in-person classes in the fall semester.

"We're preparing for all different possibilities," said Dr. Trujillo. "If we're going back to school face-to-face, if social distancing is in place. Do we do a.m. and p.m.? Do we do every other day?"

New Mexico / News

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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