Published: 1:52 pm, Thu. Apr. 20th, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Teachers, coaches, parents and students gathered at the Albuquerque School Board meeting Wednesday to show their opposition to cuts in middle school sports.
The cuts are part of the district’s plan for its projected $25 million budget reduction. Other cuts include reduced employee work days, bigger classes and a heavier high school schedule.
The district needs to make a better effort at finding creative solutions to the problem, including using its reserve money, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation said.
“We really could avoid all these cuts,” Albuquerque High School teacher Mary Kelly said.
The district pulled from its reserves to cover part of its fiscal year 2017 reduction and said it would be reckless to cut it any further.
“We have laid all of our cards on the table and many people don’t like the hand they are being dealt,” Superintendent Raquel Reedy said. “Process, that’s what all of this is. We will continue to be honest and transparent, even when what we have to say isn’t popular. But we’ll also continue to listen, work together, gather input, answer questions and address concerns.”
Former Grant Middle School principal Edgar Briggs said he has seen failing students turn their lives around thanks to an after-school sports program that might be dropped.
“There are life-defining aspects to the mentorship they get,” he said. “They build self-discipline, and kids need that foundation.”