Defund Failing Schools Now!



Schools across the country are failing students, but New Mexico schools are the worst.

Schools in New Mexico are ranked the lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. So you might expect New Mexico schools have the lowest funding. But New Mexico ranks 37th out of 51 in the amount of money spent on each student for education, according to, citing Census Bureau data to rank schools by the amount of money spent per student per year.

New Mexico is among 10 states that spends around $9,000 per student. By contrast, New York spends the most, over $22,000 per student. New York doesn’t get its money’s worth, however, ranking near the middle of the pack at 24th. ranks schools based on academic success in the categories of Overall, Quality, and Safety.

Washington, DC schools ranked second highest in per student spending, at $19,000, but ranked 45th overall and 48th in school safety. Maybe those schools should be defunded, too.

Teachers, principals, and school boards should be held responsible for the academic success or failure of their students. If failing schools aren’t making the grade, there need to be changes made immediately.

Teachers need to be retrained, school districts need to revamp curriculums, principals need to improve community partnerships, and school boards need to account for the how they spend tax dollars.

If these reforms can’t be made, cities need to defund their schools. They need to redirect the funding into community-based programs that put education back into the hands of parents and the students themselves.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday he would direct funding to youth initiatives and social services. Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, promised to reallocate $250 million toward programs to address education issues in black and Hispanic communities. Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender said, “Our efforts at incremental reforms have failed, period.”

Would it surprise you to learn that they were talking about defunding police departments, not school districts?

If schools are failing their students nationwide, and they are, why don’t people demand the same kinds of reforms that they are demanding of police departments?

It’s outrageous to demand the defunding of school districts in the same way it’s outrageous to demand the defunding of police departments. We should no more close schools – which provide a safe environment for children – just because some schools are failing to provide a quality education, than we should advocate the closing of police departments – which provide safety in communities – just because some rogue police officers are failing to protect their citizens.

Officers need to be retrained, police departments need to revamp programs, police chiefs need to improve community partnerships, and law enforcement agencies need to account for the how they spend tax dollars. (Notice that I substituted for the words “teachers, school districts, principals, and school boards?”)

Defunding schools isn’t the answer. Parents wouldn’t be able to educate their children and also work to earn a living. Defunding the police is not the answer either. Crime would skyrocket and society would descend into total anarchy. We’ve already seen glimpses of that.

We’ve all watched the rioting and looting while police stood by because they were told people “needed space to vent their anger.” Imagine if we closed schools? All those demonstrators couldn’t write well enough to correctly spell the slogans on the signs they’re holding!

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