The order issued by New Mexico District Judge Sarah Singleton last year in Martinez v. State of New Mexico required the state to enact by April, 2019, reforms that would ensure that every public school in New Mexico would have the resources necessary for providing the opportunity for a sufficient education to all at-risk students. Although the legislature did take actions by that date which provided a $113 million budget increase, plaintiffs have now filed compliance motions with the Court that allege that school districts lack sufficient funds to make the extensive programmatic changes required by the Court’s order to benefit at risk, students, Native American students, students with disabilities and English language learners because the lion’s share of these funds have been used to increase salaries of existing teachers, They also claim that the State has no plan in effect for complying with the Order. Accordingly, at the end of last month, both sets of plaintiffs in this consolidated action asked the Court to take further steps to ensure compliance.
The Martinez plaintiffs have asked the Court to allow their attorneys to undertake discovery to learn what actions, if any, the state has taken to comply with the injunction. The filing also requests the court to set a schedule for further proceedings to enforce the injunction. Martinez Motion. The Yazzie plaintiffs have made a more far reaching request; they have asked the Court to develop within 60 days a comprehensive statewide plan and timetable for providing a uniform and sufficient system of public education to all students in New Mexico. Their request specifies each of the areas that the proposed plan must address, and calls for the state to commit to full funding for all of these reforms, as well as adequate funding for the state’s Public Education Department to hire sufficient experts and specialists to work with the districts to implement the plan. Yazzie motion.