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Santa Fe Schools Budget Approved

The Santa Fe School Board votes on the budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
Kevin Meerschaert
Via Zoom
The Santa Fe School Board votes on the budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The Santa Fe School Board has approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The $314.9 million spending plan covers 74 percent of employee benefits costs, with employees covering 26 percent, and meets legislative mandates, including providing all employees except the superintendent with a six percent salary increase. 

In addition to the 74/26 benefits coverage, the budget meets the legislative requirement to cover 80 percent of the cost of benefits for employees making less than $50,000. 

It also sets minimum salaries for educational assistants at $25,000 and adds more instructional time. The budget includes a five percent cash balance as required by Board policy. 

Superintendent Larry Chavez says the budget follows through on the district’s strategic plan.

“Through our strategic plan we have created an environment that raises expectations, promotes high academic performance for every student…recruit, retain and recognize highly qualified personnel, develop a culture of shared responsibility, promote a safe and respected school community and ensure efficient and effective systems,” he said. “Of course, for our students, upon completion of their studies all students will possess attributes of a public school graduate.”          

Only one new position has been created. It is an at-risk coordinator to further programs and services for students in alignment with findings from the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit. 

The budget is also providing more substitutes for teacher absences. Beginning on August 9th, SFPS’ substitute program will be managed by ESS Substitute Solutions, a national educational personnel and management firm that screens, hires  and trains substitutes in all fields.

The budget must be sent to the state by the end of May.