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New Mexico in Context
In New Mexico, nearly 71,000 children and teens are enrolled in an afterschool program. More than 90,000 are waiting for an available program.
New Mexico is a state rich in cultural diversity and very much in need of programs that face up to the social and economic challenges that impact the quality of life for children and youth. The fifth largest state in area, its two million people have the second highest poverty rate in the nation (20.4%). Approximately 29% of students live in poverty and 39.3% live in single-parent households; 28% speak a language other than English at home, 25% live in high poverty areas, and only 68% graduate high school on time (the lowest graduation rate in the U.S.). New Mexico is also 6th in the nation for youth suicides.
New Mexico has the second largest proportion of Native Americans of the 50 states, with 23 Native American tribes and pueblos, and 75% of New Mexico students are students of color. Twenty-seven of New Mexico’s 33 counties are classified as frontier counties, accounting for 39.7% of the population. New Mexico has 89 school districts, a large majority of which are rural and 977 schools with 338,307 students. Over $1.2 million was earmarked in the 2015 legislative session for OST programs in New Mexico, but that was reduced to $325,000 in 2016 and 2017 sessions.