KUNM

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The state of New Mexico has violated students’ constitutional rights by failing to provide an adequate public education, according to a landmark decision handed down late Friday by a New Mexico District Court judge.

La Veu del País Valencià via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A state court ruled Friday that New Mexico’s education system fails to provide an adequate education to at-risk students, as required by the state’s constitution. In her ruling, Judge Sarah Singleton outlined the harm done to economically disadvantaged students, Native American students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. 

KUNM's Hannah Colton spoke with staff attorney Ernest Herrera of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who’s been working the case for years.

Pixabay via Creative Commons

Lawmakers and educators in New Mexico have been talking about the achievement gap in public schools for years—and trying to figure out how to close it. Testimony in a landmark education trial underway in Santa Fe touched on early childhood education programs this week. The lawsuit says they’re crucial to making sure students of color, children from families with low incomes and English language-learners succeed. But those programs aren’t widely available.