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Athletic Director Awaits School Budget, Ponders Cuts

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Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

 

It appears some of the more drastic cost-cutting measures may not be necessary. At least not yet.

But that doesn't mean the operational budget for Albuquerque Public Schools' athletic department will avoid some reductions for the next fiscal year.

The APS board on Monday night is scheduled to vote on a final budget for next year.

Exactly how much money APS athletic director Ken Barreras will have at his disposal for operational purposes remains a mystery - but, it will certainly not be the $2.1 million he had to run the department for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

How much lower it will go nobody seems certain, including a somewhat flummoxed Barreras.

"Over the last 12 weeks, I think I have 13 or 14 different budget scenarios sitting in a folder," Barreras said. What is known: APS' latest budget projection does not appear to be nearly as dire as what it believed it would be as recently as April. APS is planning for flat revenue for fiscal year 2018 instead of a 2 percent reduction. The district still needs to find over $13 million in savings, about half of what APS thought it would have to shave. "Not the impacts we were anticipating," Barreras said. The APS fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30. Without a firm budget number, there is no way APS can lay out its precise plans for cost reductions, Barreras said in an interview earlier this week.

However, Barreras also believes a recent projection that his department might have to operate with just $1.3 million for the next fiscal year is almost certainly not going to be accurate. The final number, he said, will likely fall somewhere in between - with the obvious hope that it will land closer to $2.1 million than $1.3 million.

Already, uniform money allotments have been suspended. This goes back to a midyear reduction last December.

There will surely be a reduction in monies distributed to APS' 13 member high schools for supplies and equipment. The scale of the reduction depends, more or less, on the final budget. Such a cutback would hit football more than any other sport, but there would be likely financial ramifications for nearly every sport.

The allocations comprised 30 percent of the 2017 budget.

Middle school athletics is most definitely integral to all of this. That was 27 percent of the APS operational budget, and to keep it, Barreras said, APS must find a way to do so at bargain cost.

Other possibilities remaining include discontinuing the use of contract athletic trainers (APS campus athletic trainers would, in that instance, have to pick up the slack) and cutting out travel for C-team level programs.

Once APS votes on a budget, it is forwarded to the Public Education Department for review, and that should happen early next month.

With a flat revenue projection for the next fiscal year, one of the additional pieces to an extremely complex puzzle would be that high school coaches and campus ADs inside the district might not have to face a 10 percent reduction in their annual stipend.

Six of APS high school ADs also are coaches, and those six men would have been facing a double hit of about $1,300 apiece. But the stipends are not part of the athletic department's operational budget.

"What can we look at for the 2017-18 school year that is about reducing expenses and increasing revenue?" Barreras said.Inside

The Journal's James Yodice reflects on eventful 2016-17 sports season for preps.

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May 22, 2017
 
 
 

 

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