SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday that New Mexico must “look poverty in the face” and work to expand public services – with help from philanthropic groups – to lift the state out of its last-place national rankings.
Her remarks came after an analysis released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation last week ranked New Mexico last in the nation for child well-being in 2018, the state’s third 50th-place ranking in seven years. The evaluation examined the percentage of children in poverty, the share of fourth graders proficient in reading and a variety of other factors.
“We will look poverty in the face,” Lujan Grisham said in the keynote address at the annual Kids Count Conference in Albuquerque. “… It is an evil in our state, and it must be dealt a death blow.”
Lujan Grisham spoke to about 500 people gathered for the conference, organized by the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children.