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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host discussion panel on educational lawsuit ruling

In a landmark court decision, a judge ruled that New Mexico is violating students’ constitutional rights to a sufficient education. New Mexico State University will provide the opportunity for the community to join the discussion on Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 in O’Donnell Hall, Room 111, 1220 Stewart St.


Woman speaking at a podium.
Wilhelmina Yazzie of Gallup, New Mexico, filed a lawsuit against the State of New Mexico because she believed her son was not provided with the tools necessary to succeed through public education. In the case of Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico, the judge’s ruling was in favor of the plaintiff stating that the public-school system is failing due to insufficient funding. New Mexico State University is providing the chance for the public to discuss the implications of this ruling from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21. (Courtesy Photo)

New Mexico ranks 50th in the nation for K-12 public education. This lawsuit has statewide implications as it brings attention to how schools lack the programming, resources and funding needed to enable children to succeed. Changes are necessary to ensure that students graduate ready to continue with post-secondary education or move forward into a viable career.

“This is the first large convening in southern New Mexico around the ruling in Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico,” said Dulcinea Lara, criminal justice associate professor. “This will be informational, sharing a timeline of events and implications resulting from the ruling for all students in New Mexico.”

A panel of stakeholders and education experts will speak about how this impacts youth in the region. Attendees are welcome to come with questions about how this will affect local communities and how change can be supported.

“It is reasonable to usher in a culturally-responsive, equity-based and trauma-informed education when multiple studies prove this approach increases attendance, GPA and graduation rates across the board,” said Lara. “New Mexico’s future will be increasingly bright if we can collaborate across the state to fulfill the legal mandate put forth by this lawsuit.”

Appetizers and beverages will be provided in the O’Donnell Hall lobby from 5 to 6 p.m., inviting participants to meet and network prior to the panel.

For more information about the event, contact Lara at dulcinea@nmsu.edu.