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Friday Evening Roundup

NM 11th Graders Improve In Reading Proficiency-The Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration says New Mexico high school students made significant improvements in their reading proficiency on standardized tests this year but there were declines for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students.

The governor on Friday announced the results of math and reading tests taken by 195,000 students in grades 3-8 and 10-11.

On average for all students statewide, about 51 percent were reading at their appropriate grade level and 42 percent were proficient in math. For reading, that's an improvement of about 1.5 percentage points and it's a gain of one-half a percentage point for math from 2012.

There was a nearly 10 percentage point increase in the reading proficiency rate for 11th graders this year and a gain of more than 6 percentage points for 10th graders.

Middle Rio Grande Set To Deliver Last Of Water-The Associated Press
An irrigation district that provides water to farmers throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley says it will release the last of its supplemental water supplies on Monday.
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District said Friday that farmers and residents throughout the valley will start to see reduced river flows once the last of the stored water is released.

Hydrologist David Gensler says the district and farmers are at the mercy of Mother Nature and rain is the only option for increased water supply.

The persistent drought forced the district to start using its stored water in early May. It has been releasing up to 950 cubic feet per second of water each day from El Vado Reservoir.

New Mexico is in its third year of extreme drought, and the state's reservoirs have reached record-low levels.


NM Mental Health System Audit, Fix Could Hit $21M​-The Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

State officials say the potential price tag for fixing problems within New Mexico's behavioral health system could reach nearly $21 million.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that an audit of 15 providers cost around $3 million to produce. That audit alleged potential fraud and resulted this week in the halting of Medicaid payments and other funding to the 15 nonprofits.

State officials also said that if the nonprofit groups don't seek "exceptions" to keep Medicaid payments going, outside providers would be brought into New Mexico to keep mental health services going for patients. That could cost another $18 million.

The $3 million audit of the period from July 2009 through 2012 was done by the Public Consulting Group, a Boston-based management consulting firm.