Domestic Policy Education Government Spending Life New Mexico Political Thought Public Opinion Top Issues

New Mexico Parents Are Dissatisfied, Want Choices

Parents in New Mexico’s largest school districts express dissatisfaction with the quality of public education.

Originally published at on June 26, 2023.

The data is clear: the majority of parents from New Mexico’s two largest school districts are dissatisfied with the quality of public education being offered to their children and would send their children to a higher quality charter school, if available. 

In 2022 and 2023, the Southwest Public Policy Institute (SPPI) conducted surveys of more than 600 parents of students who attended Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) within the last five years and of more than 300 parents of students who attended Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) within the last five years.

Only 21% of APS and 24% of LCPS respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement that their “students have received an adequate education in the last two years,” while 57% and 52%, respectively, either “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” with the same statement.  Most parents gave the two school systems lackluster reviews in academic instruction, student safety, and extracurricular activities.

In nearly every category, APS parents were less satisfied than LCPS parents. In Albuquerque, parents seemed most frustrated with the lack of efficiency and accountability within the APS administration, with the majority of respondents stating that the administration’s role is unclear and that it is not properly using the funding allocated to the school system. Additionally, APS parents particularly felt that APS schools were underfunded, despite the fact that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, APS spends more money per student than LCPS. 

In Las Cruces, the lowest marks went to the school board, with the majority of parents stating that school board policies do not reflect the needs of parents and children in the district. Parents had mixed reviews in other categories, but, on average, they would like to see more time spent on academic instruction and more resources allocated to acquiring appropriate learning materials for academic success.

To highlight the dissatisfaction within APS particularly, SPPI analysts found that nearly all of the LCPS respondents were current parents at LCPS schools, whereas a considerable number of APS respondents were former APS parents who had moved to a charter school or even out of state to find better educational solutions for their child’s unique needs. In particular, parents of special needs students complained that APS did not provide proper educational support for their children.

In both school systems, the majority of parents were neutral towards or not satisfied in ANY of the eleven categories surveyed, from the efficiency and transparency of the administration to their child’s day-to-day instruction to the extracurricular activities available for their kids. In both surveys, a vast majority of parents indicated that they would send their children to a charter school for a better education.

The bottom line is that New Mexico parents care about the quality of education that their children receive; they want to have choices to secure the best possible future for their children.

Based on these results, it is clear that universal school choice is the best option for New Mexico students. Parents have clearly expressed their wish to choose, and New Mexico’s legislature should respond by designing a school choice program like the ones recently put into place in Arizona and Oklahoma. This will empower parents and students to achieve their dreams by going to the best schools available to them in our beautiful state.

Originally published at on June 26, 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exit mobile version