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2018 Leadership Conference

This year’s administrative conference was hosted by Evangel Christian School (Albuquerque) and featured a variety of workshops presented by school leaders from around the state. New for this year was a leadership track specifically designed for both new and experienced school administrators.

Kendra Mathison of All Saints Catholic School in Roswell was selected as the 2018 NMANS “Administrator of the Year”!

Study Shows School Vouchers Save Taxpayers Billions
The October edition of the CAPE Outlook newsletter features a fascinating article on the reality of school vouchers and how these programs have saved taxpayers billions of dollars since 2015. The article can be found at: http://www.capenet.org/pdf/Outlook438.pdf and may be an excellent article for you to share with your board and parents.

The question we so often receive at NMANS is – why?

Why – Is our state still one of the few that does not have school choice? (33 other states now have some version of school choice)
Why – When our annual (public school) test scores are among the lowest in the nation and New Mexico high school drop rates are now the highest in the nation, are lawmakers so unwilling to make changes?
Why – Do we continue to not allow all parents (regardless of income) a choice in where they send their children to school?
As we have seen in the (still pending) textbook lending program court case, we often fight a private school stereotype that asserts all parents who send their children to private schools are wealthy. Therefore, why allow more funding to those who already have plenty?
Unfortunately, many of our lawmakers also take this position. Some who support school choice tell of being harassed or politically threatened by outside groups should they support such legislation in Santa Fe. Others contend that in order to support private schools, money must be taken away from public schools. (Articles such as this provide solid evidence that dispels this myth.)
Those who do support school choice often state that in the current political climate they would not receive the needed support from other lawmakers to get a bill to committee. What is clear is that the status quo is not working, especially for many lower income children in our state trapped in low performing schools.
Regional “think tank” organizations such as the Rio Grande Foundation are among those who link low economic opportunities to low performing schools. Many corporations (who provide many jobs) are reluctant to invest in states where educational statistics are far behind that of other states.
During the Leadership Conference a presentation was made which demonstrated how our state actually saves an estimated $277 million annually when parents send their children to non-public schools. Thus, the financial obligation upon public schools is actually reduced.
With an annual state budget (2017) of $2.42 billion dollars for K-12 education, the question is raised as to why the textbook lending program (estimated at $1.5 million) has become so controversial when this indirect funding is such a very small percentage of the whole? Added to this point is a more pragmatic one – why we are not supporting our most successful schools?
NMANS Welcomes New Board Members
Voted onto the board during the conference were Mrs. Kendra Mathison, principal of All Saints Catholic School in Roswell and Mr. Bob Ippel, Executive Director of Rehoboth Christian School in Gallup. We welcome our new board members and look forward to working with them this year!
NMANS would also like to express our gratitude for the excellent service of retiring board member, Dr. Jeannette Suter. Jeanette served as the Superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Gallup and has now moved closer to family in California.