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Mon March 24, 2014
Lawsuit: Parents Demand More Money For Education
Parents frustrated by a lack of funding for public schools filed a lawsuit this week against the state of New Mexico, saying it's violating the constitution by not providing enough money for education.
Gail Evans, director at The Center on Law and Poverty, says the state constitution mandates that schools are required to provide sufficient and uniform education to all students. A bipartisan report from 2008 showed that schools across New Mexico were underfunded by 15 percent. Since then, funding has been cut even further.
"The educational outcomes of our students are so low, " Evans explained, "and they're not low because our students are less capable of other students. They're low because our students get less resources and less opportunity then other students do nationally and that's what we're trying to correct."
Students in New Mexico come in dead last nationally when it comes to reading and math proficiency, while test scores of low-income and English language learners are well below those of other states. According to the lawsuit, not enough resources are going towards students that need it the most.
If the lawsuit is successful, a court would oversee changes to the state education funding formula.