Teacher Pay in New Mexico

Before I even get into this topic, it is important to clarify that there is no real evidence that spending more money improves educational performance. That said, I noticed a recent story noting that New Mexico now ranks 35th in education spending among the 50 states.
It may seem that we are not spending enough to educate our children although $7,580 per student is a healthy sum, even higher than rates charged by private schools, but like so many numbers, per-student spending is misleading. I submit to you the following ranking of teacher pay. While New Mexico’s teacher pay is 37th highest in the country in nominal terms, when those numbers are adjusted for cost of living, pensions, and experience, New Mexico’s teacher pay ranking actually rises to 20th.
Despite this focus on money and teacher pay, the fact is that results are the most imporant part of the equation. Choice, not money, is the key to improving results. That is why the adoption of a program of educational tax credits is one of the Foundation’s top priorities for 2008.