ABQ Public Schools spends insane amount per pupil as enrollment drops

According to figures compiled by the Rio Grande Foundation (RGF), Albuquerque Public Schools is spending an insane amount of taxpayer dollars per student while enrollment in the school declines.

“Albuquerque Public Schools, the State’s largest district unveiled its FY 2024 budget (next school year) and it’s a doozy. As noted on the APS website, total district spending for the upcoming fiscal year will be $2.16 billion,” wrote the group.

RGF noted, “According to the just-passed budget (which we obtained) the District’s enrollment will have dropped (again) to 68,902. So, dividing the $2.16 billion budget by 68,902 students gets you a mind-blowing spending number of $31,349 PER STUDENT!”

“That’s an increase of almost 69% since 2020 PER STUDENT. Will APS or any of New Mexico’s other school districts be able to move the needle on student outcomes or is the State just pouring good money after bad?” 

On average, education systems nationwide spend $15,120 per pupil in K-12 public education annually, according to figures from the Education Data Initiative. That means APS delves out more money than double the national average per student.

Despite the high spending, the school district has only a three percent higher graduation rate than the state at 80 percent versus the state average of 77 percent. 

“Public Schools in Albuquerque Public Schools School District have an average math proficiency score of 52% (versus the New Mexico public school average of 25%), and reading proficiency score of 75% (versus the 58% statewide average),” according to Public School Review


11 thoughts on “ABQ Public Schools spends insane amount per pupil as enrollment drops”

  1. I wonder how much of that budget is going toward paying former superintendents how many of them are they still paying on their ridiculous contracts that they made and I probably guarantee you that none of that money or very little of it we’ll be going toward the actual students it’s probably going to be going toward more Administration and other needless items this is the story of every school and every Big City Albuquerque is no different honestly I think they need to divide APS up into four maybe five districts. I was saying as much when I lived there.

  2. It would be VERY interesting to note what amount of the 2.16 billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on ‘administrative’ costs. I would be willing to wager that the number is staggering!

    1. My first thought was of the woman who’s job it is to coach teachers on how to support transgender students and to avoid parents being notified. How many such programs like Diversity, Inclusion and Equity or Critical Race Theory are funded by APS? I wouldn’t be surprised if a non-trivial part of the APS budget goes to social engineering programs like this.

  3. There is no REAL help for students with dyslexia. All the decent programs are so costly, have waiting lists, and special ed programs that are unable to give individual attention. The lockdowns, pathetic mishandling of money (to put it politely), the incompetence of APS in general, and the apathy of our disgusting governor have all failed our children drastically. I do not know how they sleep at night. Where is the money going gov??????

    1. No “REAL”?? How about NONE AT ALL!!!!
      Spire is a joke! All books still in the box they were shipped in and zero teacher training !!! We left APS!

  4. Horrible curriculum. Parents are transferring their kids to Christian and catholic schools. Sadly the only kids left will eventually be the poor kids and the taxpayers are footing the bill for dangerous environments- low graduation rates, math teachers that can’t teach math and barely speak correct English.

  5. My retirement is dwindling since we put my grandson in private school. My daughter would gladly home school if she didn’t have to work full time. It is just simply evil what they have done to our children. I still want to know who is pocketing all this money.

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