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Adequacy Defined Judge Singleton held that the Legislature, through various statutes, has defined what a constitutionally adequate education is for New Mexico students and, accordingly, relied on those statutory provisions to determine whether the state met its constitutional obligations.
The court also established the burden of proof in a school funding case in the state, holding that the plaintiffs must prove a constitutional violation by a preponderance of the evidence. The evidence demonstrated that schools across the state suffered from inadequate instructional materials, curricula and teachers.
The court highlighted that insufficient instructional material for Native Americans violated statutory mandates and therefore the constitutional rights of those students.
Judge Singleton determined that the essential resources to deliver a reasonable curriculum must include resources to provide at-risk students the opportunity to compensate for any barriers they may face.
Thus, the court found as essential such programs as quality full-day pre-K, summer school, after-school programs, small class size and research-based reading programs. The court credited expert testimony at trial that ELL studentsin particular,benefited from smaller class size. She found that New Mexico students rank at the bottom of the nation in English and Math proficiency and high school graduation.
The court rejected state claims that outputs are sufficient because at-risk students show growth in achievement.
She held that growth is not sufficient, since vulnerable student groups, despite growth, are do not attain proficiency. The court also remarked that even the state is unhappy with the rate of growth among at-risk groups.
The court also credited the evidence demonstrating that of the New Mexico students attending college, a substantial number require remediation—proof that these students were not college-ready.
Judge Singleton noted that while many of these factors exist outside schools, school programs, such as quality pre-K, K-3 Plus, extended school year, and quality teachers, have been proven to mitigate these factors and raise the achievement of at-risk students.
Judge Singleton also rejected claims made by New Mexico often made by states in other school funding cases. Notably, the court noted that the State could not escape its constitutional responsibility by contending that it cannot control district spending, since the state has supervisory responsibility over local districts.
The court also dismissed the contention that the State is constrained by the limited money in the State budget from doing more. Judge Singleton has retained jurisdiction over the case in order to ensure state compliance with her orders.Judge presiding over two significant cases announces retirement By Phaedra Haywood | The New Mexican First Judicial District Court Chief Judge Sarah Singleton, who is currently presiding over.
State District Judge Sarah Singleton has been censured by the New Mexico Supreme Court. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal).
Dec 04, · This June 19, article states: First Judicial District Court Chief Judge Sarah Singleton, who is currently presiding over two closely watched lawsuits involving education funding and gubernatorial vetoes, has announced that she’ll retire at the end of August but will continue to preside over select cases and hear minor issues pro bono for several.
New Mexico re-elects Democratic US Sen. Martin Heinrich. which was recently vacated by District Judge Sarah Singleton and filled with an appointment by Gov. Susana Martinez of Gregory S. Shaffer. Shaffer had been the Santa Fe County attorney. Shaffer is seeking election to the post.
Judge Sarah Singleton on Friday ruled that the governor did not follow proper procedures when she nixed 10 bills.
The judge ordered the Secretary of State's Office to chapter the bills in question. On Friday morning, New Mexico District Judge Sarah Singleton ordered Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue same-sex marriage licenses or appear in court on Sept.
26 to explain why she.