School choice sweeping the American Southwest…except New Mexico

As Cato Institute education analyst Jason Bedrick writes in a new blog post, 2015 is shaping up as a banner year for school choice. Just yesterday, significant school choice victories were achieved in both Arizona and Nevada.

If that weren’t enough, the Texas Legislature is now considering legislation legislation allowing 60 percent of education dollars – about $5,200 – to follow a child when parents elect utilizing private over public schools. The remaining funds – about $3,000 – remain in state coffers. The bill was discussed at length in the Wall Street Journal recently.

According to an article by the Texas Watchdog:

Art Laffer, noted economist and author of The Texas Economy and School Choice, maintains that besides reducing dropout rates, closing educational achievement gaps, and enhancing educational innovation, statewide school choice is a mechanism to stimulate economic growth by creating new jobs and incentivizing in-migration to Texas.

Laffer views successful implementation of statewide school choice as “an opportunity to make a difference.” Using examples like decreased crime rates, increased wages and enhanced business opportunity, he further holds that not a single socio-economic measure goes unimproved with the implementation of school choice.

Unfortunately, despite passing the Republican-controlled New Mexico House, school choice tax credits (HB 333) were killed for 2015 in New Mexico by the Democrat-controlled Senate. School choice is yet another way that New Mexico is falling further behind its neighbors.

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