Public schools in New Mexico aren’t funding students equitably, so says the U.S. Department Education who accuse the state’s leaders of “diverting [$63 million] in federal Impact Aid grants” intended to help school districts that are disadvantaged by their low tax bases.
The feds found that New Mexico wasn’t passing the “equity test,” which by law requires “the difference in per-student spending between the public district or charter school with the highest rate in the state and the one with the lowest must not exceed 25 percent.”
As is, the state’s difference between its highest and lowest is 30%. Not only does that put them out of compliance, it also illustrates the equity-killing effects of business as usual.
Dylan Mullan from the Sante Fe New Mexican reporting includes a nugget that reveals a massive rip in the public education seam:
Madison spends roughly 19k/student annually, while some districts are far less. Charter and voucher schools cannot touch substantial local property taxes and therefore spend less than half of Madison.
In addition, Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.