54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019


Michael Padilla and Christine Trujillo









     WHEREAS, according to the national education association, despite decades of overall progress in narrowing achievement gaps, disparities in educational outcomes related to racial and ethnic backgrounds persist; and

     WHEREAS, minority students constitute seventy-five percent of all students, totaling more than two hundred fifty thousand students in the state; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico is a rising minority-majority state whose minority numbers will continue to increase for generations to come; and

     WHEREAS, according to the public education department, Latino students make up sixty-one percent of all students in the state, totaling more than two hundred twenty thousand students; Native American students make up eleven percent, totaling about thirty-three thousand students; African American students make up two percent, totaling about seven thousand students; and Caucasian students make up twenty-three percent, totaling about seventy-eight thousand students; and

     WHEREAS, in a report conducted by the Annie E. Casey foundation, New Mexico is identified as the worst state in which to raise a child; and

     WHEREAS, the state would benefit from a new educational paradigm to address the achievement gap; and

     WHEREAS, the state's students represent its future workforce; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico's children are its most precious asset; and

     WHEREAS, the cultural and linguistic diversity of the state and equal opportunity for all New Mexicans should be fostered; and

     WHEREAS, the first judicial district court ruled in the consolidated cases of Yazzie v. State of New Mexico and Martinez v. State of New Mexico that the legislative and executive branches of government must make changes to address the achievement gap and provide for a "sufficient education" for all students, which includes funding and programming; and

     WHEREAS, as held in the Yazzie/Martinez decision, the funding provided has not been sufficient for all districts to provide the programs and services required by the constitution of New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, in the Yazzie/Martinez decision, the court observed that it is the duty of the public education department to provide a constitutionally adequate education system that ensures that New Mexico schools have the resources necessary to give at-risk students the opportunity to obtain a uniform and sufficient education that prepares them for college and careers; and

     WHEREAS, the state must continue to implement the standards stated in the Hispanic Education Act and the Indian Education Act to aid in the elimination of the achievement gap; and

     WHEREAS, the state must address the achievement gap and develop its human potential; and

     WHEREAS, sufficient financial resources must be applied to combat the achievement gap that minority students face;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the legislature's strengthened commitment to providing sufficient education for all students regardless of race be expressed; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all agencies of the state, school districts and local governments be encouraged to work together to commit to the elimination of the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of public education, the chair of the legislative education study committee and the executive director of the national education association.

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