Report: NM’s Per-Pupil K-12 Funding Still Much Lower than Before Recession

Cuts Harm Efforts to Educate State’s Future Workforce

PRESS RELEASE
October 16, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children
505-244-9505 ext. 110 (p), 505-401-8709 (c), 505-244-9509 (f), skayne@nmvoices.org

ALBUQUERQUE—New Mexico is still spending 8 percent less per pupil on K-12 education than before the recession. That translates to $633 less being spent per student than funding levels in 2008, when adjusted for inflation. That’s according to a report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a non-partisan policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.

“A well-educated workforce fosters economic growth,” said Veronica C. García, Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, which works closely with CBPP. “We’re already seeing the negative consequences for New Mexico in child well-being. The state needs to reverse course.”

State revenue declined sharply during the recession. But instead of addressing budget shortfalls by taking a balanced approach that included more new revenue, New Mexico relied very heavily on cuts to state services, including education. Although most states cut K-12 funding, only 18 states made deeper cuts than New Mexico. When it comes to the change in the dollar amount spent per pupil, only ten states were worse.

“Reducing investment in schools has long-term economic consequences,” said Dr. Garcia. “Quality elementary, middle, and high school education provides a crucial foundation that allows children to go on to succeed in college and in the workplace,” she added.

“At a time when the nation is trying to produce workers with the skills to master new technologies and adapt to the complexities of a global economy, states should be investing more—not less—to ensure our kids get a strong education,” said Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and co-author of the report released today.

The Center’s full report can be found at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4213

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