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New Mexico school districts

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K-12 Education in New Mexico
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Hanna Skandera
Number of students: 337,225[1]
Number of teachers: 21,957
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.4
Number of school districts: 135
Number of schools: 866
Graduation rate: 70%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,070[3]
See also
New Mexico Public Education DepartmentList of school districts in New MexicoNew MexicoSchool boards portal
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in New Mexico
Glossary of education terms

New Mexico is home to 135 school districts, 866 schools and 337,225 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

One seat on the Public Education Commission is vacant and awaiting appointment from Governor Susana Martinez until the next election in 2016.


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.[6]

Student enrollment
1.) Albuquerque
2.) Las Cruces
3.) Rio Rancho
4.) Gadsden Independent
5.) Santa Fe
6.) Gallup-McKinley County
7.) Farmington Municipal
8.) Roswell Independent
9.) Los Lunas
10.) Clovis Municipal


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in New Mexico as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[7]

Demographic Information for New Mexico's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 34,287 10.17% 1.10%
Asian 4,110 1.22% 4.68%
African American 6,816 2.02% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 276 0.08% 0.42%
Hispanic 200,483 59.45% 24.37%
White 87,381 25.91% 51.21%
Two or More 3,872 1.15% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The New Mexico Public Education Department adopted these standards on November 29, 2010.[8] In addition to the Common Core State Standards, New Mexico added state-specific standards that focused on culturally relevant texts and instruction. The standards were phased in starting in 2012 and will be fully implemented by 2015.[9]

School board composition

New Mexico school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members may be appointed. New Mexico school board elections typically follow one of these two methods, or a mixture thereof:

  • At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
  • District: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.

Districts with a population of more than 16,000 residents must follow the district method of election, while districts with a population below 16,000 residents can choose between the two election processes.

School boards can consist of five or seven members. School board members serve four-year terms, which are staggered every two years.[10]

District types

New Mexico contains only traditional school districts. Districts may levy ad valorem taxes without voter approval. With voter approval, districts can issue general obligation bonds. With approval from the state board of education, districts may also issue revenue bonds.[11]

Term limits

New Mexico does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[12]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: New Mexico school board elections, 2015

A total of eight New Mexico school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment held elections for 20 seats in 2015. All of the elections were held February 3, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about New Mexico's school board elections in 2015:

  • The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Albuquerque Public Schools with 94,318 K-12 students.
  • The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Roswell Independent Schools with 10,201 K-12 students.
  • Four districts were tied the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with three seats up for election.
  • The other four districts were tied for the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with two seats up for election each.
See also: New Mexico districts in the spotlight & Trends in New Mexico school board elections

The districts listed below served 197,993 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 New Mexico School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Albuquerque Public Schools 2/3/2015 3 7 94,318
Farmington Municipal Schools 2/3/2015 3 5 10,727
Gadsden Independent Schools 2/3/2015 3 5 14,182
Gallup-McKinley County Schools 2/3/2015 2 5 12,271
Las Cruces Public Schools 2/3/2015 2 5 25,353
Rio Rancho Public Schools 2/3/2015 2 5 16,870
Roswell Independent Schools 2/3/2015 2 5 10,201
Santa Fe Public Schools 2/3/2015 3 5 14,071

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in New Mexico, a person must be:

  • A "qualified elector" in the state and school district
  • A resident of the geographic district in which they are running, if they are running in a school board election using the district election process instead of an at-large election process

The process of running for office as a school board candidate begins with filing a "declaration of candidacy" form with the appropriate election authority by the close of business on the third Tuesday of December in the even-numbered year preceding the election. Candidates may withdraw from the race or file as write-in candidates as long as they file the appropriate form prior to the close of business on the 35th day preceding the election.[13]

Campaign finance

New Mexico school board candidates running in districts with student enrollment over 12,000 residents must file one campaign finance report with the New Mexico Secretary of State prior to the second Tuesday in April each year.[14]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. New Mexico Public Education Department, "Number of School Districts in the State," accessed August 9, 2013
  5. New Mexico Public Education Department, "New Mexico Public Education Commission," accessed June 13, 2014
  6. New Mexico Public Education Department, "Enrollment by District, from Largest to Smallest," accessed August 9, 2013
  7. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  8. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  9. New Mexico Common Core Standards, "Making New Mexico Students Competitive in a Global Economy," accessed June 17, 2014
  10. New Mexico School Boards Association, "Chapter II," accessed July 11, 2014
  11. United State Census Bureau, "New Mexico," accessed July 11, 2014
  12. National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
  13. New Mexico School Boards Association, "Elections," accessed July 11, 2014
  14. New Mexico Secretary of State, "Guide to Campaign Finance and Campaign Reporting," accessed July 11, 2014