Santa Fe, NM – Democrats from the New Mexico House and Senate came together today to discuss their priorities in education. Democrats believe when we invest in our children, we lay the foundation for a strong economy in the future. Topics highlighted today include investing in proven early education programs that work, fully funding our school budgets in a transparent manner, allocating more resources from the New Mexico Land Grant Fund and ensuring our teachers are prepared to help students advance.
Senator Michael Padilla (D-Bernalillo-14), spoke about SJR 3: "Land Grant Fund and Balance and Distribution." SJR 3 is a constitutional amendment that would allow voters in the 2014 election to decide whether or not to approve additional funds from the Land Grant Permanent Fund. If approved voters, the legislature would decide how to use funds for early childhood education programs.
Representative Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo-21), spoke about House Bill 3: “Education Appropriation Act." Democrats are committed to meeting our responsibility to fully fund our educational priorities. HB 3 will ensure that we can receive the full amount of federal dollars that can be awarded to our state. HB 3 prioritizes putting money into areas of education that make the difference in a student's academic success.
Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard (D- Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval & Santa Fe-43), highlighted House Bill 360: "Create Reading First," which models proven and effective programs that build reading capacity by investing in research-based curriculum. HB 360 also supports meaningful professional development to help teachers become more effective at teaching all students to read well, especially those that struggle to learn.
Senator Sapien (D-Sandoval-9), spoke about the bill he intends to introduce related to early childhood intervention. Senator Sapien said by identifying at-risk students earlier and spending the proper resources on bringing them up to speed, it is possible to intervene early so that retention later is not needed.
Democrats are committed to working with the Governor and all interested parties to make sure New Mexico's children come first. They believe investing early in proven programs allows our students to lay the foundation for future success in school, and as a member of New Mexico's work force.

You can view the entire joint Democrat press conference by clicking here.

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