The state Public Education Department secretary has told New Mexico’s largest school district — reeling from the indictment of former Albuquerque Public Schools administrator and high-ranking legislator Sheryl Williams Stapleton — it must keep careful watch over federal vocational education funds if it wants to see that money in this year’s budget.

Williams Stapleton could face up to 79 years in prison if convicted on 28 racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges in connection with her position in the Albuquerque district, through which she oversaw the use of vocational funding.

In a letter sent Tuesday to APS Superintendent Scott Elder, Public Education Department Secretary Kurt Steinhaus stipulated multiple conditions the district must fulfill before receiving funds from the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Albuquerque Public Schools is slated to receive more than $1 million from the funds for the 2022 fiscal year, according to planning estimates. New Mexico was awarded more than $9 million last year to distribute to local districts and charters.

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