Are school choice tax credits finally coming to NM?

While RGF has spent a great deal of time since Election Day discussing the likely benefits of a Right to Work law, such legislation is by no means the only potential policy reform that has been made more likely in the wake of the Republican takeover of New Mexico’s House.

Another such reform is the expansion of school choice options for New Mexico students. As Albuquerque Journal columnist Winthrop Quigley rightly pointed out recently, New Mexico’s education system and poorly-prepared workforce are major impediments to economic growth.

The good news is that there are solutions for our education woes that don’t involve turning the massive, bureaucratic, education system around. Tax credits for school choice are one of them and they have been enacted by 14 states on a bi-partisan, cross-ideological basis. From conservative strongholds like Alabama and Arizona to liberal Rhode Island and center-left Pennsylvania, children have gained access to school choice tax credits.

In 2015, New Mexico will once again have legislation introduced to create a tax credit scholarship program the basic outline of which is explained here. We know that the primary opponents of school choice, the teachers’ unions, have less power than they did before, but there is no way to know at this point whether the Legislature, particularly the Senate, will stand up for kids or for the status quo.