Lawsuit Filed Against NM Public Education System

Apr 1, 2014

A civil rights group has filed a lawsuit alleging New Mexico's public education system violates the constitutional rights of low-income children and those learning English.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund brought the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of parents of about three dozen students in the Albuquerque, Gadsden, Las Cruces, Magdalena, Santa Fe, Zuni and Espanola school districts. The case was filed in district court in Santa Fe.

The lawsuit contends the state provides inadequate funding to educate "at-risk students," many of whom are Hispanic and Native Americans. The state constitution requires a "sufficient" education for all children.

The lawsuit also seeks to invalidate school initiatives by Gov. Susana Martinez, including a teacher evaluation system.

A Public Education Department spokesman said the agency couldn't comment on the lawsuit.

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