Passed with unanimous and bipartisan support from both the House and Senate chambers, a bill (HB 43) to improve charter school facilities funding was signed into law this week by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In the past, public charter schools in New Mexico have been subject to inadequate facility funding, leading to shortfalls that undermined students’ learning by forcing schools to spend operational dollars on facilities, not in classrooms. This new law eases the cost burden that facility maintenance typically imposes on charter schools by creating a $10 million Charter School Facility Revolving Loan Fund and standardizing the amount of facilities funding provided to charter schools to a per student calculation, versus the previous inequitable per square foot allocation.
The legislation was sponsored by the following education champions: Senator Siah Correa Hemphill, Representative Joy Garratt, Representative Meredith A. Dixon, Representative Cathrynn N. Brown, and Representative Joshua Hernandez.
“This is a win for public education and for public charter school students in New Mexico. Lawmakers are listening to families and acting accordingly by supporting charter schools and their mission to bring innovation, opportunity, and equity to public education. Let the bipartisan support of this legislation and for charter schools be an example to the country,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Charter schools are always public, free, and open to all. I look forward to the expansion of charter schools and more high-quality education options for all families in New Mexico.”
Across the nation, state lawmakers are listening to families and pushing for real improvements in public education. Several states are pursuing charter school facilities improvements, including New Hampshire, Idaho, and Colorado.
To learn more about charter school facilities, visit the Charter School Facilities Center.