Rio Rancho Public Schools has changed greatly since its founding in 1994. As the population in the City of Rio Rancho has exploded so has the school district. It is now predominantly Latino with a large low-income population. Unfortunately, funding has not kept up with its growth and changing demographics, and it is one of the lowest funded districts in the state.
As a result, the district has difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified teachers because it cannot offer competitive salaries, its technology is outdated, and it lacks adequate instructional materials.
Over the years, the district has implemented several successful initiatives such as summer programs for at-risk 8th graders, special classes for first generation college-bound high school students, and pre-K classes. Because of a lack of resources, however, the district is unable to offer these and other programs to a great number of the students who would benefit from them.
The district serves the City of Rio Rancho in Sandoval County. It has a total of 18 schools, including two high schools, two alternative high schools, four middle schools, ten elementary schools and one preschool.
• 52.9 percent Hispanic
• 4.6 percent American Indian
• 42.3 percent low-income
• 3.3 percent ELL