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More money, less result

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Education spending up dramatically, performance stagnant

By Paul Gessing

During her campaign, Gov. Susana Martinez said that she would not cut education. Based on revised budget numbers that were released immediately after she was elected, that went out the window. Now, Martinez is proposing very modest cuts of 1.5 percent for K-12.
It didn’t take long for the unions and other supporters of more spending to draw lines in the sand. Albuquerque Federation of Teachers president Ellen Bernstein said “education can’t take any more cuts,” while Dr. Jose Armas of the Latino/Hispano Education Improvement Task Force recently wrote “Let’s dispel the myth that we’re throwing money at education. New Mexico has been steadily cutting education budgets for decades.”
Instead of being “cut to the bone,” however, New Mexico’s K-12 system has seen funding rise dramatically for the better part of two decades. A new study, “K-12 Spending in New Mexico: More Money, Few Results,” which relies on data from the United States Census Bureau’s annual “Public Education Finances” report, clearly shows that K-12 spending per-pupil has risen far-faster than the rate of inflation since the late 1990s.


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