Activists, local education bureaucrats and teacher unions have been fully on board with the mantra that we just don’t spend enough taxpayer dollars on K-12 education in New Mexico.
This is in spite of that fact that when it comes to per-student spending, New Mexico tends to be closer to the middle of the pack – in stark comparison to our achievement rankings and graduation rates that are consistently closer to bottom of the barrel.
And it goes far beyond debate. Unable to convince legislators to increase our $2.7 billion education budget, some school officials and advocates have turned to the judicial system. A state District judge in Santa Fe has yet to rule after a recent trial in which plaintiffs argued public school funding in New Mexico is so low it violates the state Constitution.
One of the plaintiffs’ witnesses was Santa Fe Schools Superintendent/former Public Education Secretary Veronica Garcia, who testified “the size of the pie is the issue.”