During the school year of 2016-2017, the Gadsden Independent School District has been financially struggling because of the recent funding issue going on in the state of New Mexico. The state of New Mexico is going through tough times because the price of oil barrels are low which makes the oil royalties are lower than what the state expects them to be. Not only has the state been affected by the Oil decrease but schools have been impacted so much.
According to Chaparral High School Principal Mark Rupcich, “Schools such as Truth or Consequences and Cobre are being affected so bad that they have decided to go from a five day school week to a four day school week.
Superintendent Efren Yturralde and Rupcich said that the school district was asked to give back an estimate of $5.5 million dollars to the state because of how unbalanced the state budget was.
Measures have been taken by the schools and staff such as moving teachers to other schools, budget cuts, moving kids out of small classes and held back activities to make up for the money needed to give back to the state.
The question here is, if it comes to a point where the schools have to start letting teachers go, which teachers are the first to go out the door? Rupcich’s personal opinion is that it comes down to last in first out. There are also departments like the Reduction Inforce. This is when the District comes together to start analyzing who and what they can do without. Then again, it seems that Rupcich and Yturralde both believe that this situation won’t get that far out of hand and that they will not need to come to the decision of who goes out.
The state is asking for money from the school districts but the Superintendent believes that the school system should be fine at the end of this depression.
As of right now, administration is not taking a furlough but Rupcich did say that there was a meeting where Yturralde discussed about all the principals in the Gadsden School District taking a weeks’ worth of no pay. “It is only fair that principals share the responsibility just as everyone in the school district would,” stated Rupcich.
“It’s a difficult time to be a teacher in New Mexico and to be happy with your job,” said Rupcich. Of course you see teachers still working and working together to keep this situation steady but Rupcich says, “It’s a sad day for education.”
No one really knows how bad this situation could escalate to but the Superintendent says, “Thank you to all the teachers for being calm and for working together.”