With declining enrollment and a lack of funding the Lake Arthur school district has struggled with inadequate and outdated instructional materials and high teacher turnover.
The district hasn’t applied for Pre-K funds, due to enrollment requirements, and this puts the students there at great risk. Federal and state funds for reading programs have gone down significantly for K-3 students, and as a result, reading proficiency has plummeted.
“There’s no quick fix for the lack of investment in our kids—online programs cannot replace teachers,” said Michael Grossman, district superintendent. “Our AP classes are only offered online through Odyssey, an online educational provider, but in the past two years not one student has taken an AP class.”
The student population has fallen steeply in recent years due to economic factors affecting families within the community. In the 2015-2016 school year, the district served 104 students, down from 161 students in the 2008-2009 school year.
Demographics (from the New Mexico Public Education Department 2016 District Report Card)
• 28.2 percent English Language Learner (ELL)
• 79.6 percent Hispanic
• 100 percent low-income