School Choice Works in New Mexico

In today’s Albuquerque Journal, the editorial board notes that “New Mexico charter schools are at the top of the class.” U.S. News and World Report named “three Albuquerque charters at the top of the 12 New Mexico schools that made the list of the 2,500 top high schools in the United States.”

As the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer wrote in a recent issue of City Journal: “Charter schools offer many of the same benefits as private schools, since they are free from the stranglehold of teachers’ unions. This leaves them able to experiment with and adopt new education methods, including uniforms and stricter discipline, and to attract successful teachers. While teachers’ unions detest charter schools, the public favors charters by a two-to-one margin. Among African-Americans — arguably the biggest beneficiaries of alternative schooling options –support runs greater than three-to-one. Even 38 percent of public school teachers favor charters, while 35 percent are opposed.”

Given charter schools’ success, why not expand choice options in New Mexico? The House of Representatives attempted to do so during the 2015 session. But the legislation failed in the Senate.