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Santa Fe School Board Approves New Budget

Kevin Meerschaert
The Santa Fe School Board Thursday night approved a new district budget

After waiting an extra week, the Santa Fe Public School Board has approved a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Board held back approving the budget last week because they wanted to hear more about where the district was heading and because two members were absent.

Board members were told that despite a drop in enrollment of 400 students, there will be no staff reductions.

31 FTE’s or Full Time Equivalent positions will be absorbed through currently unstaffed positions and teacher transfers.

Superintendent Larry Chavez says they hope to move forward and advance what the district is doing to enhance student education.

“Everything in the budget is tied to teaching and learning and student outcomes so we’re hoping to really grow,” he said. “We’re going to finish this school year and then move into the 2022-23 school year. We want to make sure our students are receiving a high quality education.”   

The over $115-million operational budget includes an at least seven-percent pay increase for all teachers and staff. The minimum wage in the district will be $15 an hour.

The budget also includes bringing the district’s cash balance to five-point two-percent or $6-million, bringing it back up to the board policy preferred level.

The budget must be delivered to the State Education Department by June 1st.  

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.