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What A Difference a Week Makes

According to the Albuquerque Journal (subscription), last Thursday APS was celebrating and handing out one-time bonuses:

Albuquerque schools will have about $11 million more to spend this year, and some of it will land in the paychecks of certain employees as a one-time bonus.

Albuquerque Public Schools announced Wednesday that the state made a mid-year adjustment of the “student unit value,” giving the district about $5 million more to spend by June 30. The state also is giving APS an additional $6 million for growth.

The student unit value is the amount of money the state gives districts based on students enrolled and services provided.

“We’re very happy we have more money, and we’ll be able to give some of our employees one-time bonuses,” Superintendent Elizabeth Everitt said in a telephone interview.

Flash ahead a week to yesterday and you’ll read in the same newspaper (subscription) the following:

Albuquerque Public Schools would be about $6.5 million short next year under the spending bill the House passed last week, assistant superintendent Diego D. Gallegos told board members Wednesday.

That’s because state lawmakers didn’t put enough money in the nearly $4.7 billion budget to fully cover the district’s increased costs, like utility payments, Gallegos said.

The House approved a 1.25 percent raise for public school employees not covered by the state’s three-tier licensure system, but did not include enough money for it, Gallegos said.

“It’s not time to panic,” he said. “But we’re expressing our concerns.”

Just got $11 million even though the administration wasn’t “expecting any adjustments this year.” The administration then announces they are going to pass it out like candy, and seven days later the same APS leaders expresses concern about a $6.5 million shortfall. Is it any wonder that kids educated in this system grow up into adults who utilize payday loans?