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Last updated 7:39PM ET
August 16, 2018
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Questions about Santa Fe's school's budget answered, others raised (Podcast)
(KSFR) -
-- After weeks of debate, Santa Fe's school board has reached its final decision. Consolidate three small elementary schools into one and close another one, the Acequia Madre School. That's part of the effort to trim some $7 million in costs for the coming school year. Closing the schools was perhaps the most contentious issue for local parents.

The school board had faced charges that it had put together a cost-saving budget by showing leasing income from the schools to be closed. School board member Frank Monta o rebutted that argument with several members of the audience arguing against his explanation.

On the question of leasing income from closing the small schools, the most recent budget documents in fact do not show leasing income as a part of the cost savings as previous drafts had shown it. But leasing income is shown separately as a benefit. In the case of Kaune elementary, the budget shows $120,400 from "a lease to Tierra Encantado/Colegio Sin Frontera or another entity." In the case of Alvord elementary, the budget document also shows lease income from "the City of Santa Fe or a private entity." KSFR has not had time yet to confirm whether any leasing arrangements have actually been made.

As for other cost-savings items, school superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez says the biggest- nearly $ 3 million - will come from increasing class sizes.

But what about the cost of renovating the former Alameda Middle School to accept the students consolidated from the closings of three small elementary schools? That question came up in the public forum but was not answered.

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