Education moves up as a problem in New Mexico

The Albuquerque Journal’s latest polling continues to trickle out. The good news with unemployment dropping from 6.5% to 4.6% since Trump took office in January of 2017 is that the economy is seen as less of a critical issue than crime and education. See chart below:

Notably, the economy has declined somewhat relative to crime and public education as an issue of concern to voters. It goes without saying that declining unemployment and a massive budget surplus make the economy somewhat less salient as a “crisis” issue. That doesn’t mean the economy is “good.” It still has fewer people employed than it did a decade ago. But between Permian oil production and the booming national economy, New Mexico has been dragged along.

The fact that education remains a problem illustrates the ongoing need for serious reform. More money is a top priority for the political class and ill-informed voters, but New Mexico spends more per pupil and pays its teachers more than any of our neighbors for worse education outcomes.

With 1.5 months left before Election Day it would seem that education reforms like preserving and expanding school choice and dedicating more money to the classroom would be received well by the electorate.

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