GO Bond 3 Facts

Why General Obligation bonds?

General Obligation bonds are the primary source of capital improvement funding for New Mexico's public colleges, universities and specialty schools. These bonds come before voters every two years. The fact is, they need this funding to:

  • Renovate and repair the equipment and facilities we have already invested in
  • Keep up-to-date on technology to attract top students and faculty
  • Provide safe, high-quality learning environments for students
  • Maintain the resources and infrastructure needed to deliver quality on-line education

In 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020, voters overwhelmingly supported these improvements. Then, just as now, investing in the future of higher education in New Mexico created jobs and did not increase property tax rates. This has been verified by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration. Click here for more information.

Global Competitiveness – STEM

It's critical for New Mexico's higher education institutions to keep up with evolving technology. Passage of GO Bond 3 will help ensure our students remain globally competitive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), critical to our local and national economies.

The fastest growing occupations in the U.S. require STEM skills. (Source: Georgetown University, 2013, Recovery Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020.)

Caring for Our Communities

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to train more health care professionals and provide care to those most vulnerable. This year, Bond 3 includes funding for a badly needed children's psychiatric center and renovations to a preschool for deaf children in Albuquerque. It also includes state-of-the-art multidisciplinary smart classrooms for students in health and social services as well as modernization of a nursing skills center in Las Cruces.

Creating Jobs

The renovation of facilities throughout New Mexico acts as an economic boon for communities where these schools are located. The projects included in GO Bond 3 employ architects, planners and construction workers, and provide for equipment, high-tech infrastructure and opportunities for all kinds of businesses up and down Main Street. If passed in 2022, GO Bond 3 would create more than 2,000 new jobs and help bolster many others.

In recent decades, the United States has steadily transitioned from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, people with an associate's degree are twice as likely to be employed. (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education (n.d.) College Completion. U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics (n.d.) Digest of Education Statistics)

Additionally, just 26% of adults in New Mexico hold a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 31.5% in southwestern United States and 30.3% nationally. The passage of GO Bond 3 will entice more New Mexicans to seek out higher education, creating a more robust and prepared workforce. (New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, 2019)

Economic Development

The educational attainment of the labor force is one of the most important factors in the continuing economic development of New Mexico. The number of jobs requiring an associate’s degree or higher (including non-degree awards) is projected to grow faster than jobs requiring a high school degree or less. (New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, State of the Workforce 2021, pg. 44)

Affordable and a Good Return on Investment

New Mexico was named second (2nd) in a list of seven (7) states where "college is worth the cost," according to an article on forbes.com. Student Loan Hero crunched the numbers to figure out the ROI (return on investment) for colleges in all 50 states. According to the article:

  • New Mexico students enjoy a high ROI on their college degrees. In fact, the average grad sees a return of 151%. Compared to workers without a college degree, college graduates see an average pay bump of $17,000.
  • Additionally, New Mexico is ranked as one of the most affordable states to receive a college degree. According to College Board research, New Mexico’s average cost of $1,950 to receive an associate’s degree ranked second in the U.S.

New Mexico is also affordable for those seeking a four-year degree, ranking second in the U.S. with an average cost of $6,160 for in-state tuition.

5 States Where A Bachelor's Degree Pays Off The Most

The Average Cost of College Tuition by State

(Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021, College Board, pgs. 14 & 15)

Higher Earnings and More Employable

  • Nationally, bachelor’s degree recipients took home $17,800 more in after-tax income than high school graduates.
  • 83% of those with bachelor’s degrees and 78% of those with associate degrees were employed, compared to 69% of those with just a high school diploma.
  • In New Mexico, 82% of those with bachelor’s degrees and 73.4% of those with associate’s degrees participate in the workforce compared to 66.7% of those with just a high school education. (Trends in Higher Education, Education Pays 2019, pg. 34; State of the Workforce, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, 2021, pg. 18)

Increased Social Mobility

In 2018, 4% of bachelor’s degree recipients and 7% of associate’s degree recipients age 25 and older lived in poverty, compared to 13% of those with only a high school diploma or equivalent.

In New Mexico, attending some college or receiving an associate’s degree increased median earnings by 15.3% while those with a bachelor’s degree saw their median earnings jump 43.9% (Trends in Higher Education, Education Pays 2019; New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, State of the Workforce 2021, Pg. 47).

A Degree Will Be Almost Mandatory in the Future

Jobs requiring at least an associate’s degree are expected to increase by 7.2% by 2028 while jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree are expected to increase by 8.1% in the same timeframe. Investing in New Mexico’s colleges and universities will ensure that these roles are taken by well-prepared New Mexicans, while slowing “brain drain” in New Mexico. (New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, State of the Workforce 2021, pg. 44, SearchLight NM)

Economists estimate that in 2031, the nation will have 171 million jobs. But only 30% of them will be open to workers without college degrees. The passage of GO Bond 3 will help ensure New Mexicans get the education they deserve to keep up with the job market of the future.

By investing in our institutions of higher education we can ensure they are producing generations of skilled individuals who can continue making New Mexico economically competitive – without raising property taxes.

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