School funding plan boosts all districts, but some more than others

Thursday evening, the House of Representatives voted 46-23 to approve a $7 billion state budget proposal, and the single-largest ticket item, no surprise, is public education. With a nearly half a billion dollar increase in spending proposed, the draft budget would funnel around $3.1 billion, up from $2.6 billion this year, into public school districts around the state starting July 1. The rising tide will lift nearly all boats in New Mexico, according to a spreadsheet that shows the extra funding school districts and charter schools could receive if the proposal clears the Legislature and earns Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature. If you want to see to how much your local district could see in new education dollars, check out the chart we’ve embedded below this story. All told, school districts around the state would see around a 19 percent bump in State Equalization Guarantee (SEG) money.

New Mexico faces moral test on educating diverse students

When Wilhelmina Yazzie thinks back to elementary school, she remembers feeling shame in not speaking “proper English.”

These days, Yazzie feels pride in speaking Navajo and wants the same for her children when they grow up. “That would be one of the great accomplishments, if we get (Native language classes) in all the schools,” Yazzie said a few weeks ago to talk about a historic ruling in a lawsuit that bears her name. However, the school district her children attend – Gallup McKinley – gets just $25,000 in Indian Education Act funding to serve about 9,000 Native American students. “That is pennies. There’s hardly anything we can do with that to meet the cultural and linguistic needs that are required under this law,” said Superintendent Mike Hyatt.