Permanent School Fund Ballot Question
SEED NM Backgrounder:
What is the Permanent School Fund Ballot Question?
The Permanent School Fund ballot question will appear on the back of your November 8 General Election ballot. This question will ask voters whether or not New Mexico should approve funding to provide free childcare and early education programs for tens of thousands of New Mexico families. It would also create a new funding source for new teachers and programs to address discrepancies in educational outcomes for at-risk students within our public schools.
This page provides brief background information, explains how the issue can affect the small business community, and offers ways to find more info and get involved.
Text of the Ballot Question
The Permanent School Fund ballot question is a proposal to amend the state constitution. It will appear on the back of the general election ballot in November and read as follows:
A JOINT RESOLUTION,
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT ARTICLE 12, SECTION 7 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW MEXICO TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL ANNUAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND FOR ENHANCED INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS AT RISK OF FAILURE, EXTENDING THE SCHOOL YEAR, TEACHER COMPENSATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION; REQUIRING CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL FOR DISTRIBUTION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.
Also Known As…
You might hear the Permanent School Fund ballot question referred to by other names, such as:
- Early Childhood Education Constitutional Amendment
- Quality Childcare and Early Childhood Education ballot question
- Land Grant Permanent Fund Distribution for Early Childhood Education Amendment
These all refer to the same ballot question appearing on the back of ballots in New Mexico in the November 2022 general election.
The legislature has been considering allocating funds from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to early childhood education for over a decade. In 2021, the legislature voted to send this question to the voters and also added a provision that would increase funding for public schools to improve outcomes for at-risk K-12 students.
What Is the Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF)?
The LGPF was created when New Mexico became a state in 1912 and currently supports K-12 education. It is valued at nearly $26 billion dollars. Several states have a similar fund, which takes revenue raised on state land and invests the money to create more resources for the state to pay for funding government programs.
The Permanent School Fund Ballot Question proposes to allocate 1.5% of the LGPF annually — approximately $200 million per year — to early childhood education and public education.
Why should small business owners / entrepreneurs care about the Permanent School Fund Ballot Question?
Small business owners are an important voting bloc in New Mexico, and the Permanent School Fund has the potential for a significant, lasting impact throughout our state. Increased funding for early childhood education and public schools could help build a solid foundation for the state’s economic development and small business environment. Specifically, small business owners stand to be impacted in the following ways:
- Small business owners who have school-age children might be able to access more, and better funded programs both during and after the school day. Expanded early childhood and after school programs could impact small business owners who need child care options for their children during work hours.
- Small business owners who have employees or contractors with school-age children could be affected indirectly.
- Additional resources for pre-K and K through 12 grades could impact the workforce that is available to meet employer needs.
- Entrepreneurship could be supported by boosted funding to the public school system, with a potential impact on local economic development.
What could the ballot question funding pay for?
- Hiring more teachers and addressing the teacher shortage
- Creating career technical education and job training programs in our high schools
- Improving retainment efforts and benefits for teachers so they stay in the profession
- Supplying classroom technology and other classroom necessities
- Raising teacher salaries in New Mexico
- Expanding mental health services for students and educators
- Enabling districts to hire more student support staff, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, and nurses
- Enhancing investments to help students at risk of failure
- Taking action on school building maintenance and repair, including new ventilation systems
- Investing in early education services like early childhood education for all families that want it
- Hiring more daycare workers to keep up with demand
- Building an affordable and accessible childcare system
- Reducing class sizes
- Extending the school year for additional instruction in communities that want it
- Making early education services like home visits available
Creative Assets to Share
Spread the word among your fellow business owners about the Permanent School Fund and how it could affect New Mexico’s economic development. Feel free to use the creative assets below on your social media channels to steer folks to this page. If image credits are noted, please include them when possible.
Here are some actions you can take to get more involved.
Action Item: Sign up to receive news and updates from SEED NM and its partners about the Permanent School Fund ballot question.
Action Item: Register to vote. Start by checking your registration status. You can register online or in-person. Same-Day Registration is also available on the day of the election — visit the Secretary of State’s website for more details.
Action Item: Be aware of important dates in 2022.
- October 11: Voter registration (by mail or online) closes.
- October 11: First day that absentee ballots can be mailed to voters (who have submitted an absentee application), and first day of Early Voting (at the county clerk’s office).
- October 22: Expanded Early Voting begins at alternate voting locations.
- November 3: Last day to request an absentee ballot.
- November 5: Last day of early voting.
- November 8: General Election Day.
Action Item: Vote! The general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. The Permanent School Fund ballot question will appear on the back of the November election ballot, so be sure to flip the ballot and ensure your vote is counted.
Action Item: Start a conversation. Talk to your fellow business owners, friends, family, colleagues and community about what the Permanent School Fund ballot question could mean for them. Invite your colleagues to upcoming SEED NM Open Meetings. Use the Creative Assets below on your social media channels to steer your contacts to this page.