- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) - School districts in the heart of New Mexico’s booming oil region are reporting record student enrollment.

Lovington Municipal School District said it had an enrollment of nearly 3,800 students on its 40th day - a result of the highest spike in enrollment in the district’s history, the Hobbs News-Sun reports (https://goo.gl/tL9WKf).

Hobbs Municipal Schools Superintendent T.J. Parks said the total enrollment in his district was nearly 10,000 students on Sept. 16. That’s 500 more students accounted for than on the same day last year.

The jump comes as Lea County continues to see a booming business for its oil and gas.

Lovington district officials said projects are currently underway to help accommodate the new students, including the addition of classrooms at Llano Elementary, Ben Alexander Elementary and the Freshman Academy.

Lovington Superintendent Darin Manes said the increase in his district is about three percent above the 40-, 80- and 120-day average last year.

“The projections that were done for us in regards to our five-year plan, bond election and construction were good advice, and projections are continuing in the way they were reported to us then,” Manes said.

Lea County officials recently reported that September saw gross-receipts tax revenue of $1.6 million. That tops last year’s September numbers by more than $500,000. Officials say July and August also saw gross-receipts tax revenue higher than last year’s numbers.

Gross receipts are defined by the state as the total amount of money businesses receive through selling or leasing of property or goods in New Mexico, or through performance of services.

The county’s biggest city - Hobbs - broke a gross-receipts tax record in August. The eastern New Mexico oil and gas town reported $7.87 million in gross receipts tax from July business activity.

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Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, https://www.hobbsnews.com


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