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House committee advances $462M infusion for education

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BY ROBERT NOTT
The New Mexican

The House Education Committee on Saturday unanimously advanced a bill that would appropriate $452 million in new public school funding in the coming fiscal year for at-risk students in New Mexico and millions more for small schools.

The action comes as lawmakers and the governors are drafting an overall state budget for fiscal year 2020 that includes a $400 million to $500 million infusion for education to help fulfill a state District Court ruling in a lawsuit that says New Mexico has shortchanged several groups of students with the highest needs -- those learning English as a second language, special-needs students, low-income kids and Native American children.

District Judge Sarah Singleton of Santa Fe issued a final decree Thursday in the case, in which a group of plaintiffs argued New Mexico is failing to provide an adequate education for these students.

In her final ruling, Singleton again wrote that state leaders and the Public Education Department have violated the state constitution and “the rights of at-risk students by by failing to provide them with a uniform statewide system of free public schools sufficient for their education.”


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