Statement of Reps. Lente, Rubio, J. Martinez, and Lara Cadena:
Today the First Judicial District Court heard a motion by the State of New Mexico to dismiss the landmark public education case known as Yazzie/Martínez. As legislators - but more importantly - as leaders in our respective communities we opposed this motion.
In a ruling from the bench, Judge Matthew Wilson denied the state’s motion to dismiss, stating that “until there are long term comprehensive reforms, the courts will retain jurisdiction over this case.” We applaud this decision.
In their motion to dismiss, the state argued that they have demonstrably worked to improve public education. While we commend the state for upholding the basic tenets of their responsibilities as we collectively work towards improving a broken education system, we know that New Mexico has not sufficiently met the mandates of this historic ruling.
As products of public schools, we know first-hand the failures and opportunities within our public education system. While there’s been progress in terms of investments in education, much more remains to be done, particularly as we strive to build an anti-racist, fully-funded education system that all our kids in New Mexico deserve.
NM State Representative Derrick J. Lente, District 65
NM State Representative Angelica Rubio, District 35
NM State Representative Javier Martinez, District 11
NM State Representative Micaela Lara Cadena, District 33
Representative Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque): “I appreciate the court’s diligence and thoughtfulness. I look forward to continuing the work of the legislature to fully fund education from early childhood and beyond.”
Representative Derrick J. Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo): “My district includes all of the children named in the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure they have their constitutional right to a sufficient and uniform education. Politics has no place in the education of our children, and it is my hope the work that lies ahead will be done with a spirit of cooperation that will yield many benefits for our state’s most important asset, our children.”
Representative Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces): “This is a big win for our kids, as we work to address institutional and systemic racism in our educational system here in New Mexico. You can't just throw money at it, and expect to make transformational change. We gotta put in the work for long-term change.”
Representative Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla): “As a mama and a New Mexican, I send my kids to school hoping their classrooms are safe, equitable, and equipped to get them ready for the future they and all little ones deserve. We have so much work in front of us; I appreciate Judge Wilson for recognizing that New Mexico is only getting started on meeting the mandates of the historic Yazzie/Martinez ruling.”
Representatives are available for English and Spanish media interviews upon request.