New Mexicos Current School Finance Status.Report as inadecuate

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New Mexico has a great sense of pride in its school funding formula as originally conceived. Over time, however, an increasingly politicized atmosphere led to changes in the formula. This paper incorporates input from school administrators and state policy makers to identify a variety of issues influencing the current status of school finance in New Mexico. Data were collected through face-to-face and telephone interviews with school district superintendents, school district financial officers, and members of New Mexico state and regional associations for district administrators and financial officers. The paper provides an overview of the state's financial environment during fiscal years 1996 and 1997, which were characterized by increasing public demand for accountability and uncertainty about federal funding. The paper also describes the funding-formula controversy, including revisions for costs associated with urban high-density environments and incremental costs associated with hiring educated and experienced teachers. A more critical issue for district administrators in New Mexico, aside from the funding-formula debate, is how to provide all students with a quality education in light of limited resources. (LMI)

Descriptors: Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Support, Resource Allocation, School Support, State Aid, State Government, State Legislation, State School District Relationship

Author: Derlin, Roberta L.


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