Partnership Aims to Save College of Santa Fe

The College of Santa Fe is getting a second chance to remain open.

Gov. Bill Richardson announced Friday that the school is partnering with Laureate Education Inc. The idea is for the city of Santa Fe, with support from the state, to purchase the college. Laureate would operate it under a lease.

Richardson committed up to $11 million in state and federal funds for the deal. That includes $5 million in funds authorized to the General Services Department for a land purchase that Richardson has urged the Legislature to approve, as well as $4 million in discretionary funding and $2 million in federal funds.

Laureate Education is a private company based in Baltimore. It offers adult career education through online and campus-based programs in 20 countries.

The partnership is the top recommendation of a task force convened by Richardson to explore options for the College of Santa Fe, which is struggling under millions of dollars of debt.

Richardson announced his support in helping to negotiate with creditors to bring down the debt level. The financial commitment of the state and city needs to be matched by that of the creditors, Richardson added.

“We urge them to be understanding and generous,” he said in a prepared statement. “It’s best for all parties involved.” (New Mexico Business Weekly)

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