SANTA FE, N.M. — Rapidly expanding charter schools in New Mexico are spending more per student with similar academic results to traditional public schools, state program analysts told lawmakers on Monday.
The evaluation by staff at New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee warned that charter schools are diluting the amount of funds available at all schools, as charter schools continue to be authorized independently of the state’s budget process.
The study found that charter school students received $8,663 per student, while traditional district schools received $7,597, during the budget year ending June 2015. New Mexico’s charter schools have received nearly half of school funding increases since mid-2007, while serving about 7 percent of all students, the report said.
Presenting the findings to lawmakers, program evaluator Yann Lussiez said state-authorized charter schools with the highest grades tended to have the lowest percentage of economically disadvantaged students.