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My friend and I are discussing the legacy of Gov. Bill Richardson.
Aside from all the controversies, what did he really do for New Mexico?
“He finally got education reformed,” my friend says. “Replaced the old state school board with a cabinet secretary so there would be accountability. Freed up money from the permanent fund so there would be money to improve pay for teachers. Got full-day kindergarten and pre-K. These ideas had been around for years and there was a huge coalition in support. Richardson got it done.”
True enough. Richardson spearheaded the drive for an amendment to the state Constitution, which changed the formula for the amount of money that could be withdrawn from the permanent fund and the structure of the education bureaucracy at the state level.
“But education still isn’t fixed,” I said. “You know the numbers. We’re still 49th. Whatever was done didn’t fix the problem.”
Readers, you know the numbers, too.
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