New Mexico’s children win! The court’s decision in Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico is a testament to the great potential of New Mexico’s children. The court found what we all know to be true – New Mexico’s children have just as much capacity to learn and thrive as children anywhere.
We don’t have to be bottom in the nation for academic outcomes; we don’t have to be bottom in the nation for children’s likelihood of success; we don’t have to be bottom in the nation for child poverty. The way up is through education.
The court recognized that education is the foundation of our democracy and our economy and that once the state meets its constitutional obligation and provides every child with a sufficient education – one that offers our children the opportunities they need to be college and career ready – we will all benefit, not just our children and families, but our economy and therefore the state overall.
The Yazzie case rests on two main principles. The first is that New Mexico’s children have just as much potential as children anywhere – so there is no good reason for the appalling academic outcomes. The second is that we know what we need to do to provide our children with a decent education – we’ve done the research, we’ve tried the programs, we know what programming and supports are necessary for all of New Mexico’s children to succeed.