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Mon January 24, 2011
Early Childhood Advocates Ask For New Funding Source
By Sarah Gustavus
Albuquerque, NM – A group of New Mexico advocates think they've found a way secure more money for early childhood education, without raising taxes or adding to the state budget. They'll ask lawmakers to dedicate a percentage of the interest from the state permanent fund to programs that serve children under the age of five. The permanent fund currently provides funding for K through 12 education from interest on investments of oil and gas royalties.
Allen Sanchez is Executive Director for the New Mexico Conference of Bishops and CEO of St. Joseph Community Health. He says New Mexico has the second largest permanent fund in the country. Sanchez says, "Some people call it the sacred cow. Well, how fat does that cow have to get before we milk her?"
Sanchez says he has received positive responses so far from state lawmakers and the Martinez administration. The proposal must be approved by the state legislature and then put before the voters.
The Invest In Kids Initiative launches today at the state capitol.
Invest In Kids Now