Public education in New Mexico
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Studies and reports
- 11 School districts
- 12 Education ballot measures
- 13 Recent news
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
List of school districts in New Mexico
Public education in New Mexico
School board elections portal
The New Mexico Public Education Commission is composed of 10 members, elected from state districts. They serve staggered, four-year terms. As a partner to the New Mexico Public Education Department, the Public Education Commission works in three committees: the Public Education Department's Strategic Plan, Charter Schools and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical federal fund for career technical programs.
The vision statement of both the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Public Education Commission reads:
|“||A world-class education system in which all New Mexico students are prepared to succeed in a diverse, increasingly complex world.||”|
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. 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.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how New Mexico compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
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
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.
|Demographic Information for New Mexico's K-12 Public School System|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||276||0.08%||0.42%|
|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.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in New Mexico attend city schools. This is similar to students in Arizona and Colorado. However, students in Utah are more likely to attend suburban schools than city schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Arizona, Colorado, and Utah), New Mexico had the lowest percentage of students score at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade and eighth grade.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for New Mexico was higher than the national average at 5.0 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 5.9 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in New Mexico
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: New Mexico state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 19.7 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 0.1 percentage points, a 0.5 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 19.8 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Over 65 percent of New Mexico's education revenue comes from state funding. Federal funding accounts for 17.66 percent, and local funding accounts for 16.55 percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources:NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in New Mexico totaled approximately $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for New Mexico and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in New Mexico totaled approximately $3.7 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for New Mexico and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in New Mexico, the average salary increased by 4.7 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. New Mexico ranked 37th overall, or weak, which was in the fourth tier of five.
The main unions related to the New Mexico school system are the National Education Association of New Mexico, an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), and AFT New Mexico, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. The National Education Association of New Mexico is the largest education association in the state.
List of local New Mexico school unions:
- National Education Association of New Mexico
- AFT New Mexico
- AFT Albuquerque
- Albuquerque Educational Assistants Association
- AFT Anthony
- AFT Gallup
- AFT Arroyo Hondo
- See also: New Mexico government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the New Mexico School Boards Association.
As of 2009, New Mexico did not have a statewide spending transparency database. The Albuquerque Journal had several lists of the salaries of top state officials on their Watchdog resources page. A listing of the New Mexico state payroll from 2009 is posted here.
In 2009, Senate Bill 159, known as the "Budget Transparency Act," passed the New Mexico State Senate. However, it died in committee in the spring of 2009. It was introduced by Sen. Sander Rue.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
New Mexico received a score of 66.6, or a D+ average in the "chance for success" category. This was below the national average. The state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 92.0, or an A- average. The lowest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 60.3, or a D- average. New Mexico tied for the 15th highest score for the "standards, assessments and accountability" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of New Mexico and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|New Mexico||66.6 (D+)||60.3 (D-)||92.0 (A-)||74.3 (C)||70.5 (C-)||89.3 (B+)|
|Arizona||70.2 (C-)||66.6 (D+)||87.6 (B+)||62.4 (D-)||66.8 (D+)||78.6 (C+)|
|Colorado||82.9 (B)||74.2 (C)||81.8 (B-)||66.4 (D)||68.6 (D+)||82.1 (B-)|
|Utah||79.1 (C+)||69.1 (D+)||81.7 (B-)||64.5 (D)||65.2 (D)||89.3 (B+)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
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.
- See also: List of school districts in New Mexico
The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment:
|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|
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.
New Mexico does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.
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 94,083 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 was Roswell Independent Schools with 10,261 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.
The districts listed below served 198,128 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 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||94,083|
|Farmington Municipal Schools||2/3/2015||3||5||11,222|
|Gadsden Independent Schools||2/3/2015||3||5||13,957|
|Gallup-McKinley County Schools||2/3/2015||2||5||12,033|
|Las Cruces Public Schools||2/3/2015||2||5||25,384|
|Rio Rancho Public Schools||2/3/2015||2||5||16,884|
|Roswell Independent Schools||2/3/2015||2||5||10,261|
|Santa Fe Public Schools||2/3/2015||3||5||14,304|
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.
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.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- New Mexico Amendment 1, Creation of a Public Education Commission (September 2003)
- New Mexico Amendment 2, Public Education Funding Act (September 2003)
- New Mexico Amendment 2 (1996)
- New Mexico Capital Expenditures for Higher, Tribal and Special Education, Bond Question C (2014)
- New Mexico Dates for School Elections, Amendment 1 (2014)
- New Mexico Dates for School Elections Amendment (2016)
- New Mexico Higher Education Capital Improvements and Acquisitions Bonds, Question B (2006)
- New Mexico Higher Education and Special Schools Bonds, Bond Question C (2012)
- New Mexico School Board, Amendment 1 (2008)
- New Mexico Student on Board of Regents, Amendment 2 (2014)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "New + Mexico + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- New Mexico state budget and finances
- New Mexico Department of Education
- List of school districts in New Mexico
- School choice in New Mexico
- Charter schools in New Mexico
- New Mexico
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- New Mexico Public Education Department
- New Mexcio Public Education Commission
- New Mexico School Performance Standards
- New Mexico AYP Results
- New Mexico Graduation Rates
- New Mexico Charter Schools
- New Mexico School Public Records Requests
- New Mexico Public School Ratings by PSK12
- New Mexico Public School Ratings by Great Schools
- 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
- 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."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- New Mexico Public Education Department, "Welcome," accessed June 2, 2014
- New Mexico Public Education Department, "The Public Education Commission," accessed June 2, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
- New Mexico Common Core Standards, "Making New Mexico Students Competitive in a Global Economy," accessed June 17, 2014
- 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
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "New Mexico teachers unions," accessed April 11, 2010 (dead link)
- Rio Grande Foundation, "New Mexico Votes: Progress of 2009 Senate Bill 159"
- New Mexico Legislature, New Mexico Senate Bill 159 (timed out)
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "New Mexico," accessed July 11, 2014
- New Mexico Public Education Department, "Enrollment by District, from Largest to Smallest," accessed August 9, 2013
- New Mexico School Boards Association, "Chapter II," accessed July 11, 2014
- National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
- New Mexico School Boards Association, "Elections," accessed July 11, 2014
- New Mexico Secretary of State, "Guide to Campaign Finance and Campaign Reporting," accessed July 11, 2014
State of New Mexico
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