Posted at: 01/31/2013 2:17 PM
By: BARRY MASSEY Associated Press
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Early childhood programs would receive a dramatic increase in funding under a legislative proposal that calls for increasing how much is paid out each year from one of New Mexico's endowment funds.
A coalition of religious groups, business leaders, labor unions and social advocacy organizations is backing a constitutional amendment to raise the payout from the more than $11 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund to 7 percent from 5.5 percent currently.
That would provide an estimated $170 million in 2016, with a portion of the money earmarked for early childhood programs such as pre-kindergarten and child care.
Under current law, the Land Grant Permanent Fund will provide more than $550 million next year for schools and 20 other public institutions, including universities and state hospitals.
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