SANTA FE — The hum of disappointment hung over a crowd of Rio Rancho constituents as they discussed the recent Rio Rancho Public School budget cuts made in the ongoing legislative session.

The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a social event at the Saźon restaurant in Santa Fe Thursday, where the topic on everyone’s mind was the small amount of funding to RRPS.

RRPS Superintendent Sue Cleveland said the district has been hit really hard financially.

“We are going to be struggling to be able to hold everything together,” Cleveland said. “Every school district in New Mexico has a story, and every district has its own challenges, so across the state it’s certainly going to be very, very hard to make things work.”

Although the RRPS board of education approved $123.1 million for fiscal year 2017, the school board had to cut $1.8 million from the budget due to the Legislature’s emergency session in the fall.

Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull said the budget downsize for education in Rio Rancho does not sit well with him.

“We are delivering a great result with our schools on a very limited budget as it is,” Hull said.
“I think our school districts work very hard to be fiscally responsible; it almost feels like when you have a (well) performing district and city and then these cuts come in, it’s almost like they’re punishing good behavior.”