Thursday, May 21, 2015

Education Leaders Face New Population Reality And Colorado Governor Offers NM An Example For Attracting Biz 

Kathy Winograd, Garrey Carruthers and Bob Frank are among the first to face down the new New Mexico--the one that for the first time in its modern history experienced a year-over-year drop in its population growth. All of them are leaders of higher education institutions in the state and all are seeing precipitous drops in student enrollment due to the population drop--especially as younger people flee to greener pastures where jobs are more plentiful and pay better than those here. The education leaders are scrambling as they confront shrinking budgets based on student enrollment. What to do?. . .

There does not appear to be any short-term solution to the malaise. States like Colorado, Texas and Arizona that are generating the jobs are less than a day's drive away. That easy exit is also hurting our ability to keep professionals who can easily cross the state line to set up shop and improve their status.

A reader points out that we have some great schools here--among them NM Tech, the ABQ Academy and a number of charter schools, to mention some, but it's hard for them to compete with what he calls a "statewide economic disaster."

Maybe that's overstating the case but for Winograd, Carruthers and Frank it probably rings  more true than they'd like.


It's been somewhat surprising that after five years our Republican governor and ABQ mayor have yet to land one big business fish, the kind that all at once would add a couple thousand jobs. Meanwhile, up in Denver the Colorado governor is literally having business executives over to the house for home cooked steaks to sell them on his state. It is working. A lesson for our leaders who have lagged in attracting business opportunities.

Carly Fiorina will speak at a NM GOP fundraiser May 30. In a first draft we blogged another date.

Enjoy the holiday weekend. We've got a fun history blog for you tomorrow. Otherwise. we'll see you back in this space Tuesday.

Reporting this week from Lake Como and Florence, Italy, I'm Joe Monahan.

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