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Adventure erupts on Office Boulevard

—Suzann Owings

New Mexico’s Boy Scout Council Headquarters on Office Boulevard in Albuquerque offered a Saturday of fun for our Cub Scouts, and all the new scouts who could come.

Usually an annual event, this year our regional Council Headquarters offered a second great day of adventure for new cub scouts. Young and old, with the fellowship of other scouts, enjoyed activities ranging from archery, to BB rifle target practice, to Pinewood Derby competitions, to leather work. 

Scouts and Scout masters also discussed how to maximize their popcorn fundraiser sales. 

“We met our Pack goal,” says Pack Master David Gardner, who then winks, “but we can still sell more popcorn.” Scout fundraising can pay for the Pack’s scout registration fees, camping trips, and uniforms. Popcorn purchases also may be donated to the troops overseas thereby benefitting scouts and service members.

Pack Master Gardner continues looking for more boys for our Pack and for parents to lead the scout meetings each Friday, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., at Placitas Elementary School.

For further information about scouting, contact Snow Watson at 867-2047.


School funding cuts among the nation’s deepest

—Sharon Kayne

New Mexico rank is sixteenth worst in the country in terms of how deeply school funding has been cut since the start of the recession. These cuts put the state’s economy and long-term prosperity in jeopardy. 

Investment in K-12 schools is almost 11 percent below 2008 levels, which means that New Mexico has made deeper cuts than 34 other states, according to a report released September 4 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.

The recession caused state revenue to decline sharply. But instead of addressing budget shortfalls by taking a balanced approach that includes new revenues, New Mexico relied very heavily on cuts to state services, including education.

The loss of federal emergency financial aid to states and school districts has contributed to education cuts as well. Federal dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Education Jobs Fund helped states limit education cuts initially, but the aid largely expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2011, leaving states to deal with education funding shortfalls on their own.

New Mexico’s K-12 education cuts hurt the state’s economy in the short and long-term. The cuts have extended the recession by causing both public and private-sector job losses, slowing the pace of economic recovery. The funding cuts have forced school districts throughout the state to lay off teachers and support staff, reduce pay for the remaining staff, and cancel contracts with private businesses.

The Center’s full report is at: www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3825.

 
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