Lawsuit over school funding set for 2015 trial

SANTA FE (AP) – A lawsuit challenging New Mexico’s public school financing is moving ahead after a state district judge rejected a request by the Public Education Department to dismiss the case. A trial is scheduled for November 2015 in the case by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, on behalf of parents in the Albuquerque, Gadsden, Las Cruces, Magdalena, Santa Fe, Zuni and Espanola school districts.

The lawsuit alleges the state inadequately funds schools, violating the constitutional rights of students with disabilities and others at risk of failing academically such as low-income children and Spanish-speaking students.

In rejecting the state’s request to dismiss the case, District Judge Sarah Singleton on Thursday agreed with MALDEF’s argument that a sufficient education is a fundamental right under the state constitution.

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