Renato Costa

ABQ Public Schools spends insane amount per pupil as enrollment drops

According to figures compiled by the Rio Grande Foundation (RGF), Albuquerque Public Schools is spending an insane amount of taxpayer dollars per student while enrollment in the school declines.

“Albuquerque Public Schools, the State’s largest district unveiled its FY 2024 budget (next school year) and it’s a doozy. As noted on the APS website, total district spending for the upcoming fiscal year will be $2.16 billion,” wrote the group.

RGF noted, “According to the just-passed budget (which we obtained) the District’s enrollment will have dropped (again) to 68,902. So, dividing the $2.16 billion budget by 68,902 students gets you a mind-blowing spending number of $31,349 PER STUDENT!”

“That’s an increase of almost 69% since 2020 PER STUDENT. Will APS or any of New Mexico’s other school districts be able to move the needle on student outcomes or is the State just pouring good money after bad?” 

On average, education systems nationwide spend $15,120 per pupil in K-12 public education annually, according to figures from the Education Data Initiative. That means APS delves out more money than double the national average per student.

Despite the high spending, the school district has only a three percent higher graduation rate than the state at 80 percent versus the state average of 77 percent. 

“Public Schools in Albuquerque Public Schools School District have an average math proficiency score of 52% (versus the New Mexico public school average of 25%), and reading proficiency score of 75% (versus the 58% statewide average),” according to Public School Review

Storm chasers capture videos of tornado hitting ground near Grady, New Mexico

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service warned about a tornado storm near Grady, New Mexico, in Curry County. The storm also affected Roosevelt and Quay counties. 

Multiple reports say that the wind was at 90 miles per hour, which is destructive to structures, along with the hail. The shelter-in-place alerts went into effect until at least 8:15 p.m.

See some of the views of the storm caught by storm chasers, with the twister hitting ground shortly after 7:00 p.m. in Grady:

Tornadoes are rare in New Mexico, making this one, which is significant, something for residents to respond to with caution.

Lujan Grisham makes ghastly assertion about New Mexico’s energy identity

While speaking at POLITICO’s energy summit Thursday, Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham angered eco-leftists over her justification for vetoing electric vehicle tax credits in the omnibus package previously passed during the 2023 Legislative Session.

“These were important but way too small,” Lujan Grisham said of the tax credits. “These benefits were so small, they don’t move the needle. Sometimes when you get something, you don’t get a second bite at it.”

Eco-leftists charged the governor with “blowing smoke” with her “bull***t response.” 

However, other comments Lujan Grisham made at the summit have New Mexicans concerned.

The governor told the moderator during the event, “We have free college,” adding, “I’m producing workers in the renewable energy sector.”

She then said, “New Mexico was framed, and in fact, I might…I do disagree with that frame as an energy state and a leader in energy” (emphasis added).

On the contrary, New Mexico was responsible for the largest U.S. oil production growth in 2022 at 50 percent — beating all other states, as we previously reported. Much of the state’s massive $9.4 billion budget derives from the booming oil and gas industry.

A policy and performance analysis for the 2024 fiscal year from the Legislative Finance Committee noted, “Bolstered by high oil- and gas-related revenues, growing incomes, strong consumer spending, and inflation, New Mexico is experiencing record-high revenues across all major revenue streams.” 

The free market think tank, the Rio Grande Foundation, asked regarding Lujan Grisham’s comment, “On what planet is New Mexico NOT a… leader in energy?”

New Mexico, which is the second-highest oil-producing state in the country, certainly is an energy state, and any assertion otherwise is a fabrication of the truth.


New Mexico responsible for astonishing amount of all U.S. oil production growth

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), New Mexico was responsible for an astonishing 50 percent of all U.S. oil production growth in 2022. reports, “For the third year in a row, New Mexico’s oil production growth eclipsed the growth of crude output in any other U.S. state, including Texas, the biggest U.S. oil-producing state and also home to part of the Permian shale basin.”

“Crude oil production in New Mexico jumped by 300,000 (barrels per day) bpd to 1.6 million bpd in 2022, a record for the state, the EIA has estimated.”

EIA’s offices are located in the James V. Forrestal Building in Washington, D.C., via Wikimedia Commons.

Crude oil production declined for the eighth year in a row in California and for the fifth year in a row in Alaska. 

“North Dakota, which had been one of the leading states in oil production growth in the past decade, saw oil production fall for the third consecutive year in 2022,” the report notes.

“The administration forecast in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in May that U.S. crude oil production would continue to increase this year and next. Total U.S. crude oil production is set to climb to 12.5 million bpd in 2023 and to 12.7 million bpd in 2024, according to EIA’s most recent estimates.”

The EIA wrote, “More drilling activity leads to more oil production growth, and we follow the number of active drilling rigs reported by Baker Hughes. Based on this data, the number of land rigs increased by 8 in New Mexico, by 100 in Texas, and by 85 in all other states combined in 2022. In 2023, through the first week of May, the number of land rigs decreased in Texas by 8 and increased in New Mexico by 5.” 

Lujan Grisham declares war on federally approved nuclear storage project

On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham launched a thinly veiled threat about the Holtec International facility that was recently approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Commission OK’d the facility, which will safely store casks of spent nuclear fuel in an interim facility in Eddy and Lea counties.

Holtec International, which has a gleaming reputation for nuclear power and storage, began the approval process for constructing the facility in 2017, gathering widespread support from the region. 

Metropolitan-area Democrats, including Lujan Grisham, have been bemoaning the potential of the safe facility to exist in New Mexico, erroneously claiming it would create a “dumping ground” of nuclear “waste,” spurring the passage of S.B. 53, aiming to stop the facility from being built. There was bipartisan opposition to try and preempt the company from coming to New Mexico.

Sens. Moe Maestas (D-Bernalillo) and Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Bernalillo), as well as Reps. Ambrose Castellano (D-Ribera), Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Meredith Dixon (D-Bernalillo), Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup), and Joseph Sanchez (D-Alcalde) joined all Republicans in opposition to the unconstitutional bill.

These safe fuel rods, housed in secure casks, would be transported by rail to the facility on train shipments specifically for storage. The project would account for over 350 new jobs. 

The casks are immune to hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and even the impact of a plane crash. There would be no adverse effect on wildlife nor on groundwater, no radiological consequences in the event of a fire, and an inconspicuous design. 

Despite the facts, Lujan Grisham is issuing threats to Holtec International and federal regulators after the project was approved. 

The governor told POLITICO, “I will use every tool in my toolbox” to stymie the project.

“I think other states need to step up. I think other solutions need to step up,” Lujan Grisham said during POLITICO’s first-ever Energy Summit. “And I’ll take it as a compliment. This is a highly scientific state … that does a lot of innovation with two of [the Energy Department’s] national labs right here. But don’t expect us to always do the heavy lifting here.”

The outlet reported, “On Thursday, Lujan Grisham said she supported advanced energy technologies and acknowledged the U.S. should be ‘a little bit more open-minded’ about what technologies fuel the clean energy transition. But she criticized the federal government and Holtec’s process for weighing the risks of nuclear waste storage within her state.”

Immediately following the NRC decision, Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Raúl Torrez fumed about the decision in a joint statement.

“It also undermines the NRC’s alleged commitment to meaningful engagement with stakeholders, as it appears our concerns were wholly ignored and went unaddressed by Holtec and the NRC,” they wrote, despite the lengthy process Holtec took to receive approvals and work with the state and local stakeholders.

Who was the Farmington shooter? Here’s what we know so far

Police have released the identity of the Farmington, New Mexico shooter who killed three and injured at least six others as 18-year-old Beau Wilson, a student at Farmington High School who was set to graduate the day after the Monday shooting spree. Police fatally shot Wilson.

Beau Wilson, who killed three and injured at least six in the Monday. May 15, 2023, Farmington mass shooting.

The victims who died from Wilson’s rampage include 97-year-old Gwendolyn Schofield, her 73-year-old daughter, Melody Ivie, and 79-year-old Shirley Voita.

In a Tuesday briefing, Farmington Deputy Police Chief Kyle Dowdy said the shooting in the residential area between Dustin and Ute streets appears “to be purely random and had no specific targets or motives that we can identify at this time.”

Dowdy said Wilson lived at an address in the neighborhood where the shootings took place. However, there was no indication he knew any of his victims.

A 16-year-old friend of the shooter told the Albuquerque Journal that during the shooting, he sent Wilson a Snapchat message about the shooting.

“​​The 16-year-old said he saw a video on TikTok of his friend being shot by officers. He said he knew instantly — by the way Wilson was walking — who it was,” the report noted.

The friend said, “I knew he was going to do something bad, but I didn’t think it was going to be something like that.”

“What he did was wrong,” the teenager said. “But everyone is going to see him as the mass shooter of Farmington, and I’m going to see him as Beau.”

Law Enforcement give Tuesday, May 16, 2023, briefing on Farmington mass shooting carried out by Beau Wilson.

As for a motive of the shooting, police said, “We’ve discovered nothing that leads us to believe that the suspect knew” and “We’re pretty confident in that this was completely random.”

Dowdy noted Wilson had a history of “minor infractions as a juvenile” and was believed to have suffered from an unspecified mental illness but nothing that “would rise on our radar.”

Lawyer for alleged NM hospital baby killer gives sickening defense

A lawyer representing 19-year-old Alexee Trevizo, who is charged with murder after giving birth to her baby in an Artesia General Hospital bathroom and then killing the child, has a sickening defense for the Trevizo’s actions.

Attorney Gary Mitchell claims, “I think it’s pretty outrageous, actually.” 

He said, “She’s in great distress because she’s in jail and never been there before. And didn’t do anything to deserve being there, I don’t care what the State of New Mexico may allege.”

Crime Online reports, “Mitchell said his client is a good student who participates in choir and cheer at school, has never been in trouble before and is planning to attend New Mexico State University. The lawyer noted that Trevizo was already at a hospital when the birth occurred, which he said is significant.”

“She’s at the only facility where she can get help and then this happens? I have serious problems with that. I have serious problems with the hospital care, I have serious problems with the records we’re not getting out of this hospital because I don’t necessarily think it’s correct and honest…. I have serious problems with the charge in this case which is first-degree murder. You can bet your life we’re going to defend this tenaciously,” Mitchell continued.

“Prosecutors are seeking to keep the teen in jail until her trial. Mitchell contends that his client has no criminal history and has not attempted to flee since giving birth. He described the state’s criminal justice system and bail and bond rules as ‘barbaric’ and ‘archaic,’” Crime Online continued. 

The baby was found after a housekeeper at the hospital found pools of blood in a restroom and a heavy trash can that contained the dead child. 

Trevizo claimed to have back pain when she visited the hospital and then gave birth to the child in the restroom before being alleged to kill him. She claims the baby was already dead, but official reports show the child was born alive. 

MLG appears in cringe-inducing Biden social media ad, claiming he ‘delivers’

In a new social media ad from Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, far-left New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham joined other lawmakers to prop up the 80-year-old Democrat politician.

The governor claimed “Biden delivers” in the video. 

Others featured include Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC), Rep. Shontel Brown (D-OH), Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT), Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Mayor Kate Gallego (D-Phoenix, AZ), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Mayor Mike Duggan (D-Detroit, MI), Mayor Andre Dickens (D-Atlanta, GA), Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (D-Madison, WI), Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA), and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-PA).

Biden was hailed in the video by the Democrat politicians as “driven,” “transformational,” “a steady hand,” and someone who “rocks.” 

The cringe-inducing social media ad is the latest attempt by the Biden campaign to promote its agenda after a lackluster — some might describe it as horrible — term in office, with sky-high inflation, a wide-open border, the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan, ant-gun laws rammed through Congress, among other disasters that have amounted to weakening of the Oval Office.

Lujan Grisham was considered for Joe Biden’s running mate in 2020 but lost that opportunity to far-left Democrat California Sen. Kamala Harris. She was also offered the post of Interior secretary but turned it down, instead aiming for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services chief, which was denied her in favor of California’s then-Attorney General Xavier Becerra, another far-left Democrat.

Biden visited New Mexico in 2022 to promote the governor’s reelection campaign and later appointed her to the Council of Governors. It is unclear if she is vying once again for a cabinet post if Biden wins in 2024, but there have been rumblings that the governor may have her eye on Sen. Martin Heinrich’s U.S. Senate seat if he decides to run for the governorship in 2026. 

Biden with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during 2022 campaign stop in Albuquerque.

NRC’s approval of Holtec project leaves Gov. Lujan Grisham, AG Torrez fuming

Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez issued a joint statement angered over the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to grant a license to Holtec International for an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel located on land in Eddy and Lea Counties in New Mexico’s extreme southeastern corner. 

“This decision by the NRC – which has been made despite the grave concerns of the state and the legislature over the project’s potential impacts to health, safety and the economy – is incredibly disappointing,” the two Democrats said.

“It also undermines the NRC’s alleged commitment to meaningful engagement with stakeholders, as it appears our concerns were wholly ignored and went unaddressed by Holtec and the NRC,” they wrote, despite the lengthy process Holtec took to receive approvals and work with state and local stakeholders.

The two politicians claimed they “will not stop our fight,” claiming the new interim facility would turn the state into a “nuclear dumping ground.” The project previously got a positive environmental impact statement from the NRC.

These safe fuel rods, housed in secure casks, would be transported by rail to the facility on train shipments specifically for storage. The project would account for over 350 new jobs. 

The casks are immune to hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and even the impact of a plane crash. There would be no adverse effect on wildlife nor on groundwater, no radiological consequences in the event of a fire, and an inconspicuous design.

“Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed and the governor signed Senate Bill 53, which will impose new, more robust state licensing requirements for this project before any construction may begin. In the meantime, we are evaluating available legal recourse and will take any action necessary to make sure that ground is never broken on this ‘interim’ facility in New Mexico,” the two Democrats’ offices wrote in the joint statement.

It is immediately unclear what “actions” the politicians seek to take, which would be bucking federal regulatory agencies — something they do not have the power to regulate. 

NM had one of the highest gaming revenue jumps in 2022

Figures released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) show that New Mexico had the sixth-highest gaming revenue growth among all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The figures show New Mexico’s gaming revenue grew 20.5 percent from 2021 to 2022, ranking only below Michigan (20.7 percent increase), Illinois (25.5 percent increase), New Hampshire (52.3 percent increase), New York (55.9 percent increase), and Oregon (62.8 percent increase). 

In 2022, New Mexico took in $262.0 million in gaming revenue versus $217.5 million in 2021. 

Nationally, legal gaming brought in $60.4 billion in revenue in 2022, which broke an annual record for two consecutive years.

“In 2022, the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City retained their top commercial market positions. The Baltimore-Washington, D.C. market reclaimed its position as the nation’s third largest gaming market, besting Chicagoland (fourth) and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (fifth) which round out the top five,” according to AGA.

“Twenty-five of the 28 states on the list increased gambling revenue from 2021 to 2022. New York brought in $909 million in revenue in its first year of legalized sports betting sites. Oregon has tried to expand wagering into college sports but has yet to be successful. New Hampshire has traditionally drawn wagers from neighboring Massachusetts, which, as of 2023, is allowing online and mobile sports wagering,” reported KRDO News.

“Our industry significantly outpaced expectations in 2022,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Simply put, American adults are choosing casino gaming for entertainment in record numbers, benefitting communities, and taking market share from the predatory, illegal marketplace.”

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