Early Childhood Education Passes First Hurdle in Committee
House Democrats Champion Investing in Kids
Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, the House Education Committee passed House Joint Resolution 1, a constitutional amendment that seeks to uplift New Mexico by increasing funding for early childhood. Sponsored by Representatives Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque) and Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), HJR1 invests in our state’s youngest and most vulnerable, increasing enrollment in early childhood education providing a strong return on investment to New Mexicans.
“Right now, we have the opportunity to adequately address the root causes of crime and end the cycle of poverty in New Mexico by investing in the future – our kids. Investing in early childhood education makes dollars and sense,” said Representative Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque). “Not only will it make our state more attractive for businesses who are looking for a high-quality of life for their employee’s families, it will also provide every child the high-quality education they need to get ahead.”
“Allowing 1% off the top from our state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood education is in our economic interest,” said Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque). ”The return on investment both to our families and our communities, is well documented. To not invest in early education at this time in our state’s history would be fiscally irresponsible.”
Currently, 95% of children ages 3 and under don’t have access to critical services such as home visiting. Home visiting and other early childhood education services improve child wellbeing, readiness to learn, and other social outcomes. Children who have access to early childhood education services are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and have higher income earning potential. The Early Childhood Education constitutional amendment passed the House Education Committee and will be heard next in the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee.