2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 75%
New Mexico earns a “C” in this year’s rankings. There are large gaps between stated policy and practice, specifically in the area of funding, which lowers the state’s ranking. Moreover, New Mexico’s Public Education Department heavily regulates charters, which hampers growth and innovation.
- Law passed: 1993
- Number of charters: 100
- Estimated charter enrollment: 25,400 (down 1 percent from 2015-16)
- Growth is capped at no more than 15 schools authorized per year with unused slots being rolled over.
- Virtual charter schools are allowed as long as they have a physical location in the state
- Charter schools must contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- New Mexico earns 8 of 15 points for “authorizing.” By law, both local school districts and the State Public Education Commission can authorize charter schools. The Public Education Commission currently authorizes the majority. Unfortunately, the commission regulates schools heavily. Decisions made by local school districts and the PEC are subject to appeal to the state Secretary of Education. This boosts the state’s score because charter applicants have recourse against decisions that they believe to be arbitrary or capricious.
- New Mexico scores 7 of 15 for “growth,” largely due to arbitrary charter caps. In New Mexico, there is a cap of no more than 15 schools per year, unused slots do not roll over from year to year. Furthermore, the law prohibits the establishment of more than 75 charters in a five- year period. Charters in sparsely-populated districts may not enroll more than 10 percent of students in the sending district. These arbitrary restrictions limit opportunities for students and contribute to slow growth in the charter sector.
- New Mexico earns 10 out of 20 possible points for “operations.” The law provides limited exemptions for charters and schools must negotiate extra exemptions with authorizers on a case by case basis. Additionally, the Public Education Commission heavily regulates charter schools, with a strong focus on compliance. Charter school teachers must be certified.
- New Mexico earns 9 of 15 points for “funding equity.” By law, charters are entitled to 98 percent of per-pupil costs, with 2 percent deducted for administrative fees by all authorizers. School boards that authorize charters must provide the portion of state and federal per-pupil funds attached to each student. In practice, this does not always happen. Charter schools do receive some per pupil facilities funding, but that amount pales in comparison to the support districts receive.
Teacher Quality Score: 75%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D
Expanding the Pool of Teachers B
Identifying Effective Teachers B
Retaining Effective Teachers C-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C-
Overall State Grade C