KUNM

Disappointment For Early Childhood Education Advocates

Feb 15, 2018

Supporters of early childhood education didn’t get the funding they were hoping for this legislative session.

Some House lawmakers wanted to use more money from the State’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for things like pre-K, childcare cssistance and other programs. But Democratic State Senator John Arthur Smith said that’s a bad idea.

“We’re not like Congress. We can’t run a deficit,” Smith said. “We have to have a balanced budget, and we have to have a reliable revenue stream. The Land Grant Fund gives us a reliable revenue stream.”

Smith said New Mexico needs quality programs for kids, but using more land grant money could jeopardize the state in the future.

Almost a billion dollars of the fund is already budgeted for public education each year. That’s not enough to fund early childhood education for all the children who are eligible in the state