All posts by admin

Taxes and School Funding


I would like to present some of my very simple ideas about our taxes and how they fund our schools. If there are any errors in this writeup there are mine and mine alone, I also do not speak for the School Board. I hope the readers find this information useful. I typically think of the taxes that fund our schools in three main categories: Operational, House Bill 33 (Referendum) and Capital Reinvestment.There are other peripheral categories, but these are the main ones. Here is an general description of these three categories:

Operational: This is commonly referred to as the day-to-day operations money, e.g. teachers salaries, books, photocopies to name a few examples. The tax we pay to support this portion of the schools budget is the “death and taxes” portion of our taxes that support public education. Continue reading

State of Chamisa Address, Tuesday March 24, 6:00

Join School Board Vice President Matt Williams for an informative discussion about the current issues facing Los Alamos Public Schools. He will present information from the recent Budget Committee meetings and the 20 Year Facilities Plan. One important consideration is that within five months, the School Board will likely need to commit to which elementary school will be rebuilt and how that rebuild will affect the other school sites. Other topics that will be discussed are enrollment trends, out of District enrollment and other topics currently being discussed by the Budget Committee. The presentation on Tuesday will be followed with an open dialogue of how Chamisa Elementary School may fit into the potential scenarios that will be considered by the School District in the very near future. The discussion will take place Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00 PM in the Chamisa Gym. You may also contact Matt Williams directly at or the School Board at

It’s Budget time again


Well it’s that time to begin preparing for the 2015-2016 budget. The Budget Steering committee is beginning to meet in preparations to brief the Board at the February meeting. So what does this mean to all of you? Two things that I will discuss here, the first is what the process may look like and how you might be involved; the second is a more informative narrative about what this process really is (hint – it’s not a budget!).

So what do you as a community member probably want to know right now? The Board will be putting forth names for the Budget committee at the February meeting. They can put forth names of professional accountants who have a career in this area and/or the names of community members who have a stake in the outcome of the budget process. Both these categories are certainly relevant to this process. So if you want to be a part of this process please contact the School Board members and let them know.

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Superintendent Search Update

So there is quite a bit of buzz in the community about what is going on with the Superintendent search. It’s due time the community heard directly from a School Board member (who of course is not officially representing the School Board as an entity).

What’s this about “advisory committees”? – I want to be on one!

First – committees are small intentionally, and have already been selected by the Board. You’ll have your chance to give input, that’s a promise from the School Board.

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Who would Matt vote for?

I would like to make several points to the community as a School Board member, though these views do not represent the School Board as an entity. I know I owe the community several communiques, in particular a “thank you” for your support of Ride the Bus day, and another is further communication on the substance abuse awareness. I promise you these communications are forthcoming, but I’d like to take a moment to tell you about two candidates that are running for office that have been exceptionally visible during my time on the School Board. They  have both  been incredibly proactive in the education of our children at a District and State level. These candidates are Stephanie Garcia-Richard and Susan O’Leary.

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Ride the Bus Tomorrow Oct. 8

In my first several months on the School Board, I was asked to approve a $250,000 transfer of funds to cover a shortfall in the Transportation Department. WHAT?!?!? What’s going on with that? Subsequently I spent a considerable amount of time interacting  with then Transportation Director Keith Rosenbaum and CFO John Wolfe to understand why we had to pull money out of our precious lease funds to prop up what I thought should be a fundamental operation to our School District.

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New and Improved Superintendent Search

At the Board meeting Tuesday evening, Sept 16, the Board approved a general plan to move forward with the Superintendent search. The search will involve the contracting of a professional search consultant, and in my own opinion likely one that specializes in education administrators. There are currently two or three prongs for the immediate future that the community should be aware of: Continue reading