Washington, D.C. – The results of a 16-month study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) examining the New Mexico public school funding formula is now available online to assist policymakers, educators and private citizens interested in determining the cost of a sufficient public school education.
The research project, “An Independent Comprehensive Study of the New Mexico Public School Funding Formula,” was commissioned by the Funding Formula Study Task Force that was appointed by the New Mexico State Legislature and Governor Bill Richardson.
In order to determine what would constitute a sufficient public school education in New Mexico, AIR organized a broad range of activities, including surveys and town hall meetings, to gather input from the public and from policymakers on the goals and objectives of public schools in the state. The research team also worked with selected panels of educators and policymakers to develop school prototypes that served as a foundation for analyzing the costs of providing a sufficient education to all public school children in the state. Using these results the team then developed funding formula recommendations that would ensure sufficient resources are equitably distributed to every district and charter school in the state based on differential pupil needs and scale of operations.
“Estimates derived from this study suggest that state support for public schools should increase by 14.5 percent (or $334.7 million in 2007-08 dollars) to achieve sufficiency in New Mexico,” the AIR researchers found. In addition, the study results show that virtually all of the state’s 89 districts were being funded at levels that were less than sufficient.
Copies of the report are also available by visiting www.nmschoolfunding.org.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is an independent, nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research on important social issues and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity.