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The following was sent in an email from NM Public Education Department information

officer Lida Alikhani, to KUNM reporter Hannah Colton, on July 24, 2018. PED did not
answer KUNM’s multiple requests for an interview with Secretary Ruszkowski.

Statement from Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski

Unfortunately, the judge missed the boat with this ruling. Since Governor
Martinez took office, education spending has increased by $450 million – with
over $100 million just this year alone. Education spending in New Mexico is now
at an all-time high, and we’re investing in initiatives that have been proven to
improve student success such as early literacy programs, Teachers and Principals
Pursuing Excellence, Advanced Placement fee waivers for students from low-
income communities, and the responsible growth of Pre-K.

Graduation rates are now at an all-time high and student achievement in reading
and math has reached unprecedented levels—all with higher standards for our
students than ever before. We are seeing significant student achievement gains—
with 13,000 more students on grade-level in reading and 11,000 more students on
grade-level in math since 2015—including the biggest academic gains ever for
Native American students. New Mexico’s school turnaround efforts are now
some of the strongest in the country, more students than ever are taking and
passing AP exams, and there is record-high student enrollment in early literacy
programs. Never before has New Mexico made this type of progress for kids in
such a short period of time.

On Background

• New Mexico is already investing more state dollars per pupil than almost
every neighboring state.
• New Mexico’s annual education budget, including state and federal
funds, is now over $3 Billion – and comprises nearly half of the State’s
overall budget.
• The State of New Mexico plans to appeal the court’s decision.