Lawmakers Back Over $5 Million in Essential District Programs   CTE, family support, outdoor classrooms, aviation program included

After wrapping this year’s legislative session, Las Cruces Public Schools secured $5 million from New Mexico lawmakers for a variety of student programs, staff wellness initiatives and a family support center.  

As of April 1, Sen. Carrie Hamblen, Sen. Crystal Diamond Brantley and Sen. Jeff Steinborn each pledged $250,000 in capital outlay funding for a new CTE center to be built at Rio Grande Preparatory Institute. Rep. Nathan Small allocated $200,000 in capital outlay monies and Hamblen identified an additional $200,000 in Government Results and Opportunity (GRO) funding, bringing the total allocations for the project to $1.15 million.  

The GRO Project Fund is a newly created funding source for statewide pilot programs and projects. It was formerly known as junior bill supplemental appropriations.  

The CTE center at LCPS will include makerspace opportunities for students to learn vocational skills and hands-on training for certified work skills they can immediately utilize after graduation.  

Approximately $3.1 million dollars has been earmarked for a family support center at LCPS, thanks to capital outlay money and GRO funding from Sen. Bill Soules ($1.4 million), Rep. Angelica Rubio ($820,000), Rep. Micaela Cadena ($380,000), Rep. Joanne Ferrary ($400,000) and Rep. Doreen Gallegos ($100,000). The family support center, along with community professionals and LCPS staff, will provide wraparound services such as healthcare, mental health, parent engagement and workforce connections.  

Rep. Willie Madrid, Sen. Diamond Brantley and Sen. Soules collectively supported $750,000 in funding for outdoor classrooms, an aviation program for students and a staff wellness center. LCPS employs over 4,500 people in the district, making it one of the largest employers in the state.  

The 30-day session ended with legislators approving $4.7 billion in statewide education funding.