Why NM Legislators Should Vote for HJR 1
Summary: This joint resolution would, if approved by voters in a statewide referendum, change the state constitution to require the Land Grant Permanent Fund (currently at $17.5 billion) to provide additional yearly distributions of 1% to educational and early childhood educational services such as high-quality home visits, childcare assistance, and pre-K, starting in fiscal year 2021. This 1% would increase the current distribution of 5% to a modest 6%.
History: IN 2017, HJR1 passed 37:32 in the House; the Senate Rules Committee voted 6:5 to table it. In 2018, it died in Senate Finance, having passed the House 36-33 and passed the Senate Education Committee.
Why This Bill Is Good for NM
- Large numbers of NM parents cannot provide the enrichment their young children need to succeed in kindergarten and elementary school due to poverty, language issues, time constraints, and poor parental education.
- Current research indicates that pre-K provides that enrichment and thus better outcomes for children when they move to kindergarten, elementary, and high school.
- Better educated children are more likely to graduate high school, pursue higher education, avoid drugs and criminal activity, and become productive citizens.
- Better educated students become better prepared employees and entrepreneurs, and thus advance our state’s economy.
- Currently only some districts provide pre-K; this bill would allow all districts to provide it.
- The additional money could fund high-quality home visiting, childcare assistance, as well as pre-K, supporting the early and most formative years of 0-3.
- New Mexico has the largest Land Grant Permanent Fund at $17.5 billion. It was intended to fund education. It is not a ‘rainy day’ fund or a retirement fund.
- The Albuquerque Journal reported that 81% of New Mexicans approve of using the Land Grant Permanent Fund to fund Pre-K education.
- The 1% increase is a modest portion of the overall Fund.
- It would create 4,000 jobs over 4 years, primarily filled by women in rural areas.
Catholic Archbishops of NM; Invest in Kids Now; NM Voices for Children; Annie E. Casey Foundation; Center for Law and Poverty; Southwest Organizing Project; Olé New Mexico; New Mexico Working Families; Center for Civic Policy; NM Asian Family Center; CHI St. Joseph’s; YDI New Mexico; Catholic Health Initiatives; Southwest Organizing Project; NM Conference of Catholic Bishops