New Mexico board OKs $26M transfer in dispute over federal education aid

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SANTA FE, New Mexico — The State Board of Finance has approved $26 million as a safety net if New Mexico loses a dispute with the federal government over special education funding.

The board on Tuesday agreed to a transfer of the money from this year's budget accounts.

The Legislature provided the money as part of a contingency plan for an ongoing fight over whether New Mexico met requirements for federal aid since 2010.

Federal officials contend New Mexico has improperly trimmed state funding available for special education. The state disagrees.

Deputy Public Education Secretary Paul Aguilar said up to $18 million could be needed if the federal government rules against the state for this year's budget.

The board's bookkeeping move makes up to $26 million available if it's necessary when the dispute is resolved.

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