(The Center Square) – New Mexico ranks among the worst states in the country for public education despite substantial spending increases in recent years.
Rankings released by Forbes Magazine this week put New Mexico second-to-last in terms of its public education performance; Oklahoma was the only state to fare worse.
“New Mexico ranked second-to-last in terms of standardized testing performance, with just 19.12% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or higher in reading and 20.97% achieving the same in reading,” the report said. “Performance rates through the eighth grade dropped by 6.43% in math and 2.54% in reading. Students in New Mexico received the lowest average SAT scores of any state. However, their average ACT and MCAT scores were comparable to students in Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia.”
New Mexico ranked dead last for demonstrating proficiency in math and reading for both Grades 4 and 8. It was well below average in every category measured.
In recent years, kindergarten through Grade 12 public education spending has increased by one-third in New Mexico, from $2.69 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 to $3.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2023, according to New Mexico Education. That’s a spending increase of around $3,000 per pupil. The increases come despite a drop in enrollment of about 20,000 students.