New Mexico has a historic opportunity to transform education for all our children. Our students are just as talented and capable as those anywhere in the country. They come from a diversity of cultures, heritages and languages that should be honored and embraced. Yet, these cultural assets are routinely ignored within the education system. Our public schools have been starved of resources, teachers are undervalued, and students lack instructional materials. For decades, the state has failed to provide our students with the education they need and deserve, creating some of the worst racial and economic inequalities for educational achievement in the country. Sweeping changes must be made so that all of our students can learn, graduate and succeed in college and career.
In a landmark court decision, a judge ruled that New Mexico is violating the constitutional rights of students to a sufficient education (Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit). The court ordered the state to take immediate steps to fix our schools and fully support low-income, Native American, Hispanic, English language learner, and special needs students. It highlighted the need for the state to provide a multicultural and multilingual education framework for school districts; offer effective programs like pre-K and extended learning time; and provide oversight of our schools. The court mandated that the state must provide adequate funding for schools so that every New Mexico student can have an equal opportunity to learn and succeed.
Now is the time for change – for a truly visionary and transformative approach to education. Small fixes are not enough. Our communities must lead the way to fundamentally reimagine and transform our schools.
To comply with the court’s order to ensure all students are college and career-ready, hundreds of educational leaders, families, tribal leaders, and the lawsuit plaintiffs have developed a “platform of action” to transform our schools. Supported by research and the volumes of evidence that led the court to its’ decision, our coalition is advocating for the creation of a public education system that:
- Embraces, reflects, & incorporates the cultural and linguistic heritage of our diverse communities as a foundation for all learning
- Provides extended learning opportunities like summer school and more time in the classroom
- Values our teachers and educators and puts them in a position to succeed
- Allows all children to access early learning and Pre-Kindergarten programs
- Offers services such as counseling and health clinics that promote learning
- Ensures our schools receive financial resources required to meet the needs of all children
These changes will realize New Mexico’s constitutional mandate for a sufficient public education system.
Platform’s Building Blocks to Success
At the core of a sufficient and equitable education is multicultural and multilingual learning that responds to the cultures, language and heritages of our diverse student populations.
Research has shown that students do best when their health and nutritional needs are met, and they have the time and opportunities to learn.
Teachers and other educators are at the heart of the education system.
The court was clear that a lack of funding is not an excuse for violating the constitutional rights of our students.
- Transform Education NM Platform (December 2018)
- TENM-Platform Summary-One Pager (April 2019)
- Transform Education NM: Actions Needed to Transform NM-2019(brochure)
- Transform Education NM Recommended Legislation Summary (February 2019)
- Yazzie/Martinez v. New Mexico Final Judgment and Order (February 2019)
- Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Yazzie/Martinez v. NM (December 2018)
- 5 things you should know about the Yazzie ruling (October 2018)
- Summary of Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico Decision (September 2018)
- Yazzie/Martinez Decision & Order (July 2018)
- Yazzie Plaintiffs' Closing Brief (January 2018)
- Factsheet-Overview of NMCLP's education lawsuit (August 2017)
- Report: “Alleviating Poverty Will Improve Education In New Mexico” (January 2013)
The Transform Education NM Coalition Members
New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, College Horizons, Dual Language Education of NM, Keres Children’s Learning Center, AFT New Mexico (American Federation of Teachers), Native American Community Academy (NACA), NACA Inspired School Network (NISN), Learning Alliance NM, NM Dream Team/United We Dream, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), National Education Association NM (NEA-NM), New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (NMABE), Coalition for the Majority, Native American Budget & Policy Institute (NABPI), New Mexico Education Action Alliance, CHI St. Joseph’s Children, NGAGE NM, The Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, NM School Boards Association, The Sun Project, and current and former superintendents of school districts and plaintiff school districts (Cuba Independent School District, Gallup-McKinley County Schools, Lake Arthur Public Schools, Moriarty Edgewood School District, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Santa Fe Public Schools)