New Mexico education officials miss transparency deadline

SANTA FE, NM (AP) – An initiative to increase the accountability of public spending on education has missed its inaugural deadline.

The New Mexico Department of Public Education admitted on Tuesday that it missed the year-end deadline to launch a website providing details on school spending and what.

The site was put online following inquiries Monday by the Associated Press.

Lawmakers and transparency advocates decried the delay, which was against state law.

The deadline was the first in a calendar of annual reports mandated by a transparency law passed by the state legislature in 2020 and signed by Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The agency had been promoting the website from August with a countdown set to zero on December 31. On Monday and Tuesday, the countdown on the website read “0”, while a note below said the project was “on time and on budget.”

The state transparency website could make it easier to see details of schools’ administrative expenses, like central office workers, versus classroom costs, like teacher salaries and student supplies. .

After questions from the Associated Press on Monday, the Department of Public Education held a meeting with its software vendor, spokesperson Judy Robinson said.

The site went live before noon Tuesday, with a note that this is a work in progress and may contain errors.

“The portal was ready by mid-December and ‘soft launched’ by then,” Robinson said.

This beta test came at the end of a six-month window scheduled for school district superintendents and financial officers to test the software. Robinson said these users have reported concerns about the functionality of the site.

The data on the website could inform policymakers who will meet next week to forge the state’s education budget, which is likely to exceed $ 3 billion.


Attanasio is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.

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