Main menu


Editorial: Money alone didn't fix NM's education system

featured image

When absentee and limited in-person early voting begins Tuesday, voters will receive more from New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent School Fund, worth about $211 million a year, for early childhood education and schools. You will now be able to decide whether or not to take the 1.25%.

The idea of ​​spending more money on our youngest students, whose supporters quickly say is our future, resonates with the public. found support for raising exits from 5%.

But voters should know that school districts are returning hundreds of millions of dollars each year that they can’t spend.

Moreover, there is no data to show that the $1 billion specifically spent to help Indigenous peoples, English learners, and economically disadvantaged students with disabilities made those students “better off.”

Schools waive a total of $400 million for extended study hours and a data-driven K-5 Plus program for “at-risk” students, according to Legislative and Finance Committee analysts doing. They’re also keeping more and more money in their cash balances, and at the end of last year, the district and charter schools had more than $525.5 million combined.

That’s nearly a billion dollars unspent and a billion dollars spent with absolutely no return on investment in our children. It is not surprising that only a third of New Mexico’s students can read at grade level, and only a quarter of her students are proficient in math.

Money isn’t the issue First Amendment proponents have voters believing, according to what’s unused and what’s used. Instead, the legislative committee points to the lack of a real plan for success and accountability in the K-12 public school system. A Legislative and Finance Committee report accuses the district of having four years of trouble implementing remedies for the groundbreaking findings of the 2018 Yazie Martinez trial, and the state’s Department of Public Education for not ensuring that we do the right thing by our children.

Assessor Rachel Mercer Garcia said, “Implementation and monitoring challenges remain hurdles to improving student outcomes. There is a growing need to ensure resources are allocated to evidence-based programs that support and help catch up.”

The journal editorial board is highly critical of PED’s so-called action plan to address the court’s concerns. Alisa Deal, an attorney at the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty on the team representing Yazie’s plaintiffs, said short- and long-term measures in line with the court’s ruling or to achieve goals set for the state are Nor has there been any analysis of costs and budgets, or an estimated increase in headcount on what would need to change to meet these goals. It is missing and does not explain how states measure how effective the actions they are taking are in preparing students for college and careers.

Education Secretary Kurt Steinhouse said PED has made progress in hiring 300 teachers to fill vacancies and will address oversight in Yazie Martinez’s final action plan.

Because it makes no sense to continue to allocate money that we can’t spend, or to spend money without a plan to ensure that it actually helps students. , “Without a clearly articulated goal consistent with the findings in this case as to what the state seeks to achieve … New Mexico . You will continue to be seen.”

State Land Secretary Stephanie Garcia-Richard said this week it was a record-breaking annual Permanent Fund income for the past three years. brings in $1.3 billion. The Land Grant Fund is $25.8 billion, and its continued growth means that the 5% annual distribution to schools is growing as well.

Before voting “yes” to the First Amendment, voters are asking whether the billions spent are worth it and why the billions aren’t being spent on $211 million annually. You should ask how you can help your children by adding

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. Written by a member of the editorial board and representing the opinion of the newspaper rather than the authors, it is unsigned.