The debate over K-12 education in New Mexico is filled with words like “sufficient” and “adequate,” as if we’re facing a vocabulary test. It’s true that all of our students have a right to a sufficient education under our state Constitution. It’s also no surprise a judge ruled K-12 public education is currently inadequate in response to the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit that shined a light on the shortcomings of the system.
But you don’t need to be a legal expert to know that if we were supporting our schools, our teachers and students would have the resources they need to be successful. That is not the case in New Mexico today.
As the Interim Legislative Education Study Committee meets this week to consider program investments for next session, it must not shy away from the fact many of our schools do not have the basics.
The hard reality is 70% of New Mexico students are not reading or doing math at grade level. The inexcusable truth is education and child welfare experts know what works to make schools successful, but resources have not been made available to fully implement and fund those programs. Despite a bump in education funding this year, it is not nearly enough to support New Mexico’s children, especially English language learners and students from high poverty communities.