Proposal To Boost Early Childhood Funds

New Mexico – Supporters of early childhood programs want to tap into one of New Mexico s endowment funds to finance services for children under the age of five.

A coalition of religious groups, labor unions, child care providers and social advocacy organizations rallied at the Capitol on Monday in support of a proposed constitutional amendment to increase the yearly payout from the $10 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund from 5.8 percent to 7 percent.

A portion of the extra money would be earmarked for early childhood programs, including pre-kindergarten and child care.

The Land Grant Permanent Fund provides yearly distributions of money more than $500 million in the 2009 budget year to schools and 20 other public institutions, including universities and state hospitals.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.