Note: This story originally appeared on KOAT.com.
Fields upon fields of fossil fuel in the Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico plus record-level crude oil production has equaled big bucks for public schools.
In a report released earlier this year, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association compiled tax and royalty revenue from oil and gas production in the state and what it found is eye-opening.
In fiscal year 2018, New Mexico’s public schools received $1.06 billion, thanks to oil and gas.
Statewide for K-12, that could translate to about 17,000 teachers, 7,400 school buses, 11 million textbooks and 2.4 million i-Pads, according to a breakdown provided by the NMOGA.
Bernalillo County alone received $346 million for K-12 and higher education. That is up from $308 million the previous year.
Albuquerque Public Schools receives approximately $240 million from oil and gas revenue, according to APS board member Peggy Muller-Aragon. The additional revenue goes toward teacher pay, utility costs and arts and music programs for elementary schools, among others.
Such benefits for public schools could be seen for years, if not decades to come.
“We’re at a pivotal point in our state where the state has an opportunity to leverage the strength of the oil and gas sector to the benefit of our public education system and our communities,” Flynn said.
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