UNM students reporting for Raising New Mexico will be working in alignment with our new partner, Searchlight New Mexico, a non-profit investigative journalism service based in Santa Fe. Searchlight NM is taking the lead on the Raising New Mexico project — focusing 2018 coverage on the tragic state of child well-being in New Mexico.
Throughout 2018 News Port will share the professional reporting from the Searchlight team. Additional reporting will be added and the hope is that the coverage informs the public conversation and the public agenda in a pivotal election year.
By Lauren Villagran/ Searchlight NM / HOBBS – The alarm rings at 3 a.m., and Ronell Mangilit is the first one up in a house shared with four fellow teachers. He prepares breakfast, writes up the day’s math lesson, and puts on a button-down shirt, a tie and crisply pressed slacks. Then it’s off […]
By Lauren Villagran / Searchlight NM / Four recruiting agencies have sprung up in New Mexico. Each is run by a working teacher, a recently resigned PED employee, a district superintendent, or the close relative of a superintendent. Such close relationships to the school system give recruiters an edge in helping immigrant teachers navigate licensure […]
By Lauren Villagran / Searchlight NM / Guest worker programs have long been shadowed by middlemen: the brokers, recruiters and labor contractors who serve as a bridge between workers abroad and employers in the U.S. While some charge a reasonable fee to deliver necessary services, exploitation is prevalent. Main story on this topic: Foreign teachers pay […]
By John R. Roby / Searchlight NM / The state knows relatively little about the people served by its nearly three dozen contracted home visiting providers. Nor is there an answer to how many families the program should serve. Main story on this topic: New Mexico’s home visiting puzzle According to a 2015 Legislative Finance Committee […]
It has broad support and research behind it, so why can’t the state spend the funds? By John R. Roby / Searchlight NM / Despite strong evidence that home visiting promotes healthy families and children, state officials have diverted millions of dollars from the program in order to fund child care assistance, according to […]
Attorneys say the state is using secret eligibility rules to block people from aid By Ed Williams and John R. Roby / Searchlight NM / Five New Mexico residents are suing the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), claiming the state is effectively cheating eligible low-income families out of money to pay for child […]
With few options, they describe skipping meds, selling possessions By Ed Williams / Searchlight NM ALBUQUERQUE — Joan Marentes knew her career in the Albuquerque Police Department was over the moment a state worker said she was ineligible for public assistance. Assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit, Marentes was a decorated detective, […]
DESPITE INVESTING BILLIONS, THE STATE SAYS MOST SCHOOL SYSTEMS ARE OUT OF DATE OR HAZARDOUS By John R. Roby / Searchlight NM New Mexico’s public schools welcomed the state’s 320,000 students back from summer break to buildings characterized by missing fire alarms, nonexistent sprinkler systems, defective emergency doors and leaking roofs. Problems with […]
TIRED OF HEARING ‘NO,’ PLAINTIFF SAYS, TAKING NM TO COURT WAS HER ONLY OPTION By Amy Linn / Searchlight NM For Wilhelmina Yazzie, joining the groundbreaking lawsuit against New Mexico wasn’t an easy thing to do. It was the only thing to do. The Navajo mother of three says she’s no different from […]
JUDGE’S LANDMARK RULING IS A CHANCE FOR REFORM, EXPERTS SAY. By Amy Linn / Searchlight NM Behind the recent ruling in the New Mexico school funding lawsuit is nearly a decade of evidence that the state’s public schools are not only failing children, but that children will be “irreparably harmed” if schools aren’t […]
By Lauren Villagran / Searchlight NM / EL PASO, Texas – The kindergarteners of IDEA Edgemere walked quietly single-file down the hall, their uniforms embroidered with the school logo, left hands behind their backs, right fingers over their lips. Shh. Emblazoned on the wall above their heads, a sign read: “We do whatever it takes.” […]
By Ed Williams / Searchlight NM/ Sara Tafoya never pictured herself as one of New Mexico’s at-risk students. She came from a supportive, college-educated family in Albuquerque, had once earned good grades, and entertained dreams of going to college and becoming a physical therapist. But in her sophomore year, Tafoya “attracted bad situations,” skipping classes […]