Governor-elect Martinez painted herself in a corner by pledging not to cut education spending. But, the truth is that the number of dollars spent on education DOES NOT have a direct correlation to an improved education outcome. If nothing else, the Richardson Administration deserves credit for proving this. For eight years, the Administration and a compliant State Legislature have thrown more and more money at education with absolutely no result.
Spending as the recipe for student success is an “innovation” experiment that has failed miserably. Of course, some people still don’t get it. They cling to the concept that the more you spend, the greater the outcome:
Martinez’s best bet–perhaps her only bet to deliver fundamental economic change–is to finally put the state on the path to public school success among the population groups that perennially under perform.
That’s going to cost money.
If the new administration takes this same old tact, we are doomed to continued failure and ever-increasing budget shortfalls. Increased spending hasn’t yielded positive results in the last eight years, and it will not equal improved education outcomes for our children in the next eight years. Feel good programs whose gains are lost in middle school, need to be eliminated. If we want to see real improvement, it’s time to get back to basics, and interestingly enough that will require less, not more, money.