95%, 77%, $600M, 8%- these are numbers and percentages we discussed on the campaign trail.
- 95% of all NM kids go to public school.
- 77% are minorities.
- $600M underfunding according to NM Supreme Court.
- 8% is the amount of PED funding that should go back into the classrooms.
One thing we can all agree on is whatever we’re doing with education is not working. Facts are facts, we are ranked 50th, we have found 8% of PED’s budget ($225M) goes out of state or programs that don’t benefit our kids. We continue to cut pathways of opportunities for our kids. It’s time we put first things first. To fully fund and create opportunities for ALL New Mexican kids, it’s in our state constitution.
That’s why we will continue to push our Gubernatorial candidates toward the needs of New Mexicans. Our Land Commissioner candidates need to be aware of how our land leases work and their responsibility sitting on the state investment council board; their vote will determine educational funding that will benefit our kids and New Mexican families.
We want to congratulate the Latin Educational Task Force as one of the groups fighting for the minority majority. We underfund our educational needs. By investing in these educational opportunities, our state will see a +14% return on our investment with better jobs, the economy and tax revenue.
We understand it’s a multi-level task, but it’s a must to gets done. We must invest in early childhood education for ALL New Mexican Families, Family food programs, and Family Intervention. It must include the parents and in-house school programs from the community up, top down does not work. Creating new programs is not the answer, fulling funding programs (both within PED and the none profit sectors) that exist and have proven track records of success is.
Both Gubernatorial candidates agree with us, Grisham wants to take more dollars from the land grant fund, while Pearce wants to look at PED budgets and see where we can reallocate funding first. Which was our plan as well, if the $600M is a real number, we found $225M of funding at PED, which means we need to fund an additional $375M or another 1% of our overall budget which is doable.
We must also fund trade skill programs and apprenticeships creating pathways for our kids; not only to high education but trade skills, Film and TV, coding /Robotics, music, and art. We must give our kids opportunities. It’good we have found both Gubernatorial candidates agreeing with us on these topics. We will review the Land Commissioner candidates at a later date.
Both Candidates agree to a higher salary scale for educators, but neither has agreed to a 3% annual increase we think educators and support staff should receive annually.
We found it interesting, the topics we expected to see a difference in, charter schools and vouchers are not being discussed. For the record, we’re against a voucher program or free choice (as both candidates support in some form). Our belief is moving kids and educators out of their community is not the answer, funding successful programs within their schools has a much great chance of success then move select kids out of their school districts.
Both candidates are supportive of most of our issues why we would grade both at an A minus.
We will keep pushing to TurnNMaround.
Now we must concentrate on closing achievement gap
By: José Armas / Organizer, Latino Education Task Force and N.M. Education Action Alliance