Why New Mexico is the worst-run state (hint, it’s the “leadership”)

If you are a reader of this blog and you are on the various social media outlets, you might want to consider following RGF president Paul Gessing on Twitter @pgessing

A lot of the Foundation’s information is distributed online along with interesting news and articles….and sometimes interactions with New Mexico’s political classes.

An issue that has been discussed and pushed by the Rio Grande Foundation since its founding is school choice. Charter schools are one form of choice and we are pleased that New Mexico has them (although Democrats have been persistently attacking them in recent years).  So, I had this short discussion with a very “progressive” state representative on Twitter. Of course, his “solution” is exclusively focused on spending more money and expanding government. Our solution is to improve the existing system via greater competition. But, when you make a salient point you get, “OK, boomer.”

The so-called “progressive” (the dominant wing) of the New Mexico Legislature claims they care about children and educational outcomes, but they are literally fixated on tapping the permanent fund for universal pre-K despite ample research showing that pre-K is not an effective means of improving educational outcomes.

Education is just one of many areas in which New Mexico lags. And, the dominant political party has continued to do the same thing over and over again (spend more money, pick winners and losers) for decades. Until the voters decide to change directions we’ll get more of the same results.

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3 Replies to “Why New Mexico is the worst-run state (hint, it’s the “leadership”)”

  1. In most parts of the country, single party Dem rule will eventually destroy the public education system and the private sector economy. In NM, the last time Republicans held a majority in the state house and state senate at the same time was 1930. In the 88 years from 1931 through 2019, the Dems have held a majority in both houses of the state legislature for 78 of the 88 years. The last time Republicans held a majority on the state Supreme Court was in the 1920’s. Our Court of Appeals was formed in 1966 and has NEVER had a Republican majority. Of the ten current Court of Appeals judges, not a single one is Republican. In the last 88 years, the Dems have held the governorship about two-thirds of the time. Even when Republicans have held the governorship in that time period, they have NEVER also held a majority of both houses of the state legislature. Republicans and independents simply cannot be blamed for the current state of affairs as they have essentially had no say in how the state has been run. God help N.M if it ever runs out of other people’s money to spend or the price of crude oil collapses. Fundamental change will never come to NM until there is fundamental political change. Every young person in the state needs to have a contingency plan for leaving NM for a better job, a better education , a better life.

  2. Charters, tax credits and charters have nothing to do with the dropout rate of students in New Mexico. Beyond that, privatization of other industries such as the power infrastructure has done nothing but increase the price of the same service in the name of profit with little to nothing to be gained from “competition” that virtually doesn’t exist not only in New Mexico, but in most states. Going back to education, it is clear that not only the leadership, but their critics have little to no true understanding on what the underlying issues our current failures root from and moving towards capitalism in an industry that has no demand is meaningless.

    1. I’m not even sure I understand your convoluted argument. Are you claiming that New Mexico’s education system is “moving toward capitalism?” And what do you mean about “no demand?” Finally, do you have any data showing that school choice (broadly) “has no impact” on NM’s dropout rate or more importantly its overall education performance?

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