Statements begin New Mexico school funding trial

school bus

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Attorneys for public school districts and parents of students are giving opening statements in a trial about the adequacy of funding in New Mexico.

A trial opened Monday in district court that could change the way public school districts are funded by a state with the second highest level of poverty in the nation.

Marisa Bono of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund says the state of New Mexico is illegally neglecting to provide educational opportunities for many impoverished students, along with Native American students and those studying English as a second language.

Defense attorney Jeff Wechsler says the state public education system is vigorous and spending more won’t necessarily improve student performance.

The trial could affect how much money the state devotes to public schools and which students are afforded more resources.