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A Tale of Two New Mexicos

It was the best of times…

Taxes rolled in. Governor Bill Richardson could buy a shiny new jet. Hundreds of millions of dollars could be spent on trains to nowhere. A multi-billionaire could receive state funding for his pet space projects. Campaign contributors could land high paying jobs and even cushier land deals.

It was the worst of times (subscription)…

More New Mexico children live in poverty, more are dying at a young age— but fewer are dropping out of high school.

Those were some of the results of the newest Kids Count report, released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore.

Overall, the state— which has always sat near the bottom in national rankings— slipped two spots.

The state ranked 46th in the nation in last year’s report, which is based on 10 measurements of a child’s well-being.

In this year’s report, the state fell to 48th, with only Mississippi and Louisiana faring worse. The new report is based on 2003-2004 data.

A story that must not continue.