New Mexico governor says trust should fund prekindergarten

March 6, 2019
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Mark Shriver, left, president of Save the Children Action Network, state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, right, talk about early childhood education at the New Mexico Senate Education Committee in Santa Fe, N.M., Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Shriver is a nephew of President John F. Kennedy. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging state legislators to devote a share of state trust funds to early childhood education.

The newly inaugurated Democratic governor on Wednesday held her 3-year-old granddaughter on her lap as she addressed member of a Senate panel on education.

Lujan Grisham wants the state to increase withdrawals slightly from a $17 billion trust to fund public preschool and other early childhood education programs.

Opponents of greater withdrawals fear it will erode investment returns that help sustain the Land Grant Permanent Fund. The trust already supplies more than $800 million annually to public education, hospitals and public universities.

Lujan Grisham says increasing withdrawals by roughly half a percent each year won’t hurt the fund and can ensure children get schooling when they need it the most.

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