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.

Got questions? Submit them below, and we’ll do our best to answer them in our FAQs.

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.

Background

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 give 1.5% of the LGPF annually — approximately $200 million per year — to the Permanent School Fund.

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. 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

FAQ

No. The ballot question does not involve revenue from taxes. It proposes to allocate 1.5% of the revenue from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to fund early childhood education and public education.

Yes. The ballot question amends Section 7 of Article XII of the New Mexico Constitution to distribute a total of 6.25% of the Land Grant Permanent Fund annually rather than the 5% it currently distributes annually.

Yes. Charter schools are included.

Yes. Tribal schools and childcare providers are included.

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.

Hashtags:

  • #PermanentSchoolFund
  • #EarlyChildhoodEducation
  • #NMEducation
Video credit: Marya Errin Jones
Learn about the Permanent School Fund Ballot Question
Permanent School Fund Ballot Question

Actions

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: 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.

A milestone in our canvassing efforts today as we reach about 24,000 doors 🚪! This wouldn't have been possible without these leaders and their commitment to the betterment of schools in NM! We are extremely proud of the hard work this team is doing! #PermanentSchoolFund

Mark your calendar! 🚨

Join us July 7th as we host @MelanieforNM on a walk through the 'ABQ Bosque'. This is an opportunity to uplift the need for high-quality programs in K-12 & early childhood education through the #PermanentSchoolFund.

#VoteYESForKidsNM #nmpol #ECE

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