Best school districts in New Mexico

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March 9, 2022
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Best school districts in New Mexico

A good school can lead to a lifetime of opportunities. Myriad data shows that lifetime earnings dramatically increase with every degree obtained. Bachelor’s degree holders will earn an average of roughly $26,000 more each year than high school graduates. And for those who decide that pursuing a college degree is not the best postsecondary option, a good school will provide students with the tools and support to make that choice, and the foundational skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.

For many families, the school district is a top criteria when deciding where to buy a home. But this consideration and ability to choose is not a luxury all families can afford, especially in today’s wildly competitive housing market.

One important proxy of a quality education is per-student spending. According to the most recent Census data available, the national average per-pupil expenditure in fiscal year 2019 was $13,187. Several recent studies suggest that increased spending per student correlates with higher academic achievement, particularly in districts serving predominantly low-income students. Since public schools are largely funded by property taxes, schools in low-income areas suffer the most from a lack of funding for critical expenditures like staff salaries and benefits, transportation, instructional resources, and support services.

There are more than 13,000 school districts in the U.S., each one slightly different, for better or worse, than the next. However, several common denominators exist and, when compared, can serve as indicators of what makes an impactful district.

Stacker compiled a list of the best school districts in New Mexico using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks school districts based on a variety of criteria including academics (SAT/ACT scores and state proficiency tests), teacher salaries, expenses per student, and access to extracurricular activities.

#10. Cloudcroft Municipal Schools (Cloudcroft)
- Number of schools: 3 (419 students)
- Graduation rate: 90% (48% reading proficient and 28% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $48,844 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)

#9. New Mexico School for the Deaf (Santa Fe)
- Number of schools: 1 (132 students)
- Graduation rate: No data available (27% reading proficient and 27% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: No data available (4:1 student to teacher ratio)

#8. Artesia Public Schools (Artesia)
- Number of schools: 10 (3,835 students)
- Graduation rate: 89% (42% reading proficient and 29% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $49,496 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#7. Reserve Public Schools (Reserve)
- Number of schools: 2 (122 students)
- Graduation rate: No data available (42% reading proficient and 37% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $46,174 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)

#6. Des Moines Municipal Schools (Des Moines)
- Number of schools: 2 (95 students)
- Graduation rate: No data available (72% reading proficient and 57% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $47,308 (7:1 student to teacher ratio)

#5. Grady Municipal Schools (Grady)
- Number of schools: 3 (182 students)
- Graduation rate: No data available (57% reading proficient and 27% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $61,692 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)

#4. Animas Public Schools (Animas)
- Number of schools: 3 (157 students)
- Graduation rate: No data available (62% reading proficient and 22% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $72,677 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)

#3. Corona Municipal Schools (Corona)
- Number of schools: 2 (60 students)
- Graduation rate: No data available (65% reading proficient and 45% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $52,283 (5:1 student to teacher ratio)

#2. Texico Municipal Schools (Texico)
- Number of schools: 3 (580 students)
- Graduation rate: 90% (62% reading proficient and 41% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $60,836 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#1. Los Alamos Public Schools (Los Alamos)
- Number of schools: 8 (3,752 students)
- Graduation rate: 91% (58% reading proficient and 47% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $53,559 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

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