Thoughts on MLG’s “literacy institute”

Gov. Lujan Grisham’s announced $30 million “literacy institute” drew groans from conservatives online. New Mexico education spending has exploded on a per-pupil basis in recent years as  oil and gas money has boosted spending and fewer students are in the public system (NM is now ranked 20th nationwide per-pupil). The State spends more than $4 billion for results that by all accounts are abysmal.

So, what’s another $30 million “literacy institute” going to do? If the money results in improved teaching of reading and better student outcomes it will be money well spent. On the other hand, New Mexico already spends more than $15,000 per-student and fails to get the results of states that spend closer to $10,000 per student.  This doesn’t even include all those education degrees for teachers who should have been taught to read in their college of education.

So, if it works, great, $30 million is a drop in the bucket in a State that already spends more than $4 billion on the worst results in the nation. Of course, Mississippi is just one of large number of states that has dramatically improved education outcomes at a fraction of the cost that New Mexico achieves the very worst outcomes.

Eight New Mexico schools named 'model schools' for literacy