Sun. May 31st, 2020

New Mexico senator speaks on new early childhood education law

CLOVIS (KSMX)- A new long-term funding commitment to early childhood education was signed into law last week by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

State Senator Pat Woods of Curry County said the new law will create several programs, including child care, early pre-k, pre-k, home visitation for parental education and child care and support to help prepare children for school, while also providing a state-run support system for parents.

“We are trying to put some money together to help you learn better ways to raise your kids,” said Senator Woods. “Maybe it is showing you how to throw the food out of your refrigerator or how to feed your kid a nutritious meal and what is a nutritious meal.”

Senator Woods said the law will utilize one of the state’s long-term revenue-producing assets to invest in its youngest citizens.

This legislation follows last year’s move by lawmakers to create the Early Childhood Education Department.

The new fund will start with a one-time deposit of $320 million from the state’s general fund, with an additional $20 million coming into the fund annually from the oil and gas revenues. The governor’s office estimates that annual contribution could eventually reach as much as $50 million.

Kansas, Alabama, and Alaska are a few of the other states that have created the same kind of fund.