Distribution will come from Land Grant Permanent Fund
SANTA FE, NM – House Majority Whip, Antonio “Moe” Maestas’ plan to improve and fund early childhood education is gathering steam. House Joint Resolution (HJR) 13 the “Minimum Land Grant Fund Balance” was passed in the House Voters and Elections Committee by a vote of 6-4. HJR 13 would give voters a chance to amend the New Mexico Constitution to fund early childhood education from the state Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF). It also seeks to update the constitution to current educational science and standards.
Right now, the LGPF is used to fund K-12 education. This legislation would include the early childhood education component by making permanent a 1.5 distribution to early childhood education. That 1.5 distribution would be taken off the top of the LGPF. HJR 13 would also amend the constitution to make sure that no additional distributions be made from the LGPF if the fund drops below $10 billion.
“There is no better return on investment than early childhood development,” says Rep. Maestas (D-Bernalillo-16). He adds, “The scientific evidence is clear. By developing cognition, motor skills, adaptive skills, and social-emotional functioning, the child is more likely to succeed in school and contribute to society. That same child is also less likely to drop out of school, receive welfare benefits or be involved in the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.”
HJR 13 now heads to the Judiciary Committee for consideration. Its companion bill in the Senate, SJR 3 is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.