New Mexico Secretary of Education-designate Hanna Skandera is urging lawmakers to support a funding increase of about $140 million for public schools in fiscal year 2014.
The Public Education Department's request includes $20 million to purchase about 250 new school buses.
Skandera proposes investing $13.5 million in new money in early-childhood reading initiatives, such as hiring regional reading coaches.
Another $11 million would be directed to pre-kindergarten programs.
Skandera says the Public Education Department needs extra money to help improve the state's graduation rate, raise academic achievement, and reward the state's most effective teachers and school leaders.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.