May 24, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393
jchavez@ped.state.nm.us

PED Releases New Mexico Cost Study:
$26 million gap in federal funding for NCLB in ’04 -‘05

( Santa Fe, NM) The Public Education Department today released a No Child Left Behind cost-study report, which revealed an estimated $26 million gap between what New Mexico received in federal funding and what it spent to implement the federal education program for the 2004-2005 school year.

As part of a national consortium sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the New Mexico study shows that the state is not receiving the money necessary to implement the federal mandates. The study of five New Mexico school districts was used to estimate the costs of implementing NCLB throughout the state. The study showed the following gaps between the estimated costs and revenue for implementing NCLB statewide:

NCLB costs NCLB New $ Funding gap

  • 2002-03 school year: $82 million $45 million $37 million
  • 2003-04 school year: $108 million $77 million $31 million
  • 2004-05 school year: $121 million $95 million $26 million

 

An executive summary of the report is available on the PED website at www.ped.state.nm.us

“While nearly everybody agrees on the principles behind the No Child Left Behind Act, several recent reports have found serious flaws in the law’s accountability framework and funding structure and these issues aren’t going to go away,” said New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica Garcia. “While Governor Richardson and I continue to work with the administration to hold schools accountable and raise standards, New Mexico schools need adequate funding and flexibility from the federal government so we can put our resources to provide direct services to students.”

The report is broken into two parts. The first portion of the report deals with the costs exclusively at the State level. The second part of the report shows the costs at the District level. Additional data is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website which identifies revenue available to offset the costs.

The report shows that for districts both large and small, the cost of implementing NCLB vastly outstrips the limited district revenue allocated for the purpose of implementing NCLB. The results from the five districts that participated in the study show the following gaps for the 2004-05 school year:

Albuquerque Public Schools reported $21.9 million estimated costs versus $10.4 million of administrative revenue

Gallup Public Schools reported $7.5 million estimated costs versus $3.5 million administrative revenue

Jemez Valley Schools reported $918 thousand estimated costs versus $145 thousand of administrative revenue

Las Cruces Public Schools reported $2.3 million estimated costs versus $2 million administrative revenue

Rio Rancho Public Schools reported $1.1 million estimated costs versus $201 thousand administrative revenue

Governor Richardson in 2004 wrote a letter to former US Secretary of Education Rod Paige, detailing many of the problems with the No Child Left Behind Act. Secretary Garcia has met with U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings three times during the past month to discuss NCLB and its impact on New Mexico. Secretary Garcia also traveled to Washington DC with other Chief State School Officers to get further clarification on the No Child Left Behind Act.

On April 6, 2005, the state of Connecticut released its cost study report, which highlighted similar problems found in the New Mexico report. Connecticut’s Attorney General has indicated he will file a lawsuit suing the US Department of Education. The lawsuit is being filed as a last resort, but the Connecticut Education Commissioner felt it was their only avenue since prior requests for more flexibility were denied from the US Department of Education. On May 3 rd, Utah’s republican governor signed a measure which lets Utah education officials ignore provisions of the federal law that conflict with the state’s program. The federal education secretary is warning that it could cost Utah approximately $76 million in federal aid.