100 Years of Catholic Education


This morning I had the opportunity to celebrate mass at my home parish with Bishop Wall as the celebrant.  Sacred Heart Catholic School is celebrating 100 years educating leaders in the Farmington community.  I enjoyed seeing my daughters.  God, Family, Country.  Yesterday, their annual Harvest Festival fundraiser occurred which successfully allows for the tuition to remain affordable at approximately $ 2,500 per year per child.  Compare that with the cost of public education in our nation, or in New Mexico where costs approach $ 10,000 per year per child.

We should not fear competition in the private sector.  When parents choose to send their children to a private school, it frees resources and reduces the class size for those who remain in the public school.  Public schools have been shown to excel where vouchers have been implemented.  In New Mexico, vouchers are a tough sell, but a tax credit should offend no one, not even the power teacher’s union.  I attended public schools my entire life.  The difference that I have seen is with the expectation level that parents and teachers now place on performance because of mandatory testing.

I believe in empowering parents to make the best decisions for our children’s education.  The Federal Government has performed poorly in its attempts at improving education.  I believe we must return educational power and choice to New Mexico and our local communities.



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Tom actively promotes parental choice and involvement in education. He has been active in education in New Mexico, both through Catholic education and involvement as a regional advisor to Educate New Mexico, a privately funded, non-profit organization dedicated to helping New Mexico families exercise their right to a quality education by promoting parental choice and providing financial assistance.

Federal mandates have not improved New Mexico schools, and the monies and testing requirements are often squandered at a bureaucratic level rather than reaching the classroom. By lowering Federal taxes and Federal involvement in education, local school boards will benefit from parents retaining more money and having more time to spend with their families. Education really must start and end at home.

Tom believes that there is no single silver bullet to our educational challenge, but he does believe that some of the solutions implemented in Florida should be considered by New Mexico. These solutions include: proper testing and accountability, school choice options through tax incentives or vouchers, school and parental choice opportunities, improved academic expectations, and ending social promotion. If a child cannot read in the 3rd grade, we must not turn our head and socially promote them to the 4th grade. We all recognize the high dropout rate in New Mexico high schools. Without parental involvement, society is sentencing our children to servitude regarding employment options