New Mexico plans to spend about $31 million in new money over the coming year to expand early childhood education programs.
That brings the state's annual spending for such programs to about $197 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The state's early childhood education spending has increased nearly 44 percent in the past two years.
The new money for the upcoming fiscal year includes about $21 million in budget increases for state agencies administering the programs.
Another $10 million is from the state's tobacco settlement funds transferred through legislation designed to boost the state's early childhood education efforts.
Critics say $31 million of new money is a drop in the bucket for what they consider New Mexico's education needs.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.