Gov. Lujan Grisham made it a point to dramatically increase education spending this legislative session. She had plenty of money thanks to both federal bailout $$ and the booming oil and gas industry to increase teacher pay and spend more on K-12 education.
But nothing she can or will do can make up for her mismanagement of New Mexico schools during COVID. The worst decision she made was keeping New Mexico students out of school for so long. This is something that numerous health and education experts including prominent Dr. Jay Bhattacharya noted in the following tweet:
As you can see below from Burbio, New Mexico students lost more time in the classroom than students in all but a handful of (mostly heavily-populated, more broadband-connected) states.
This chart does not even include the loss of two cycles of student testing from 2020 and 2021 meaning that little data exists to show how far behind students are as a result of all this. According to the respected consulting firm McKinsey, poor and minority kids will be hit hardest by this loss of classroom time with the “AVERAGE K–12 student in the United States losing $61,000 to $82,000 in lifetime earnings (in constant 2020 dollars), or the equivalent of a year of full-time work, solely as a result of COVID-19–related learning losses.”
Considering that New Mexico students lost much more time than average, Lujan Grisham’s fateful decisions could have dire long-term impacts on New Mexico children.