New Mexico legislators are looking at the creation of a new state agency to oversee early childhood education and other services for preschool aged children in the state.
Democratic state Senator Michael Padilla of Albuquerque on Tuesday announced a bill that would create a new Cabinet level department focused on the needs of children before kindergarten including at home intervention services.
Democratic Governor elect Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned on pledges to provide universal access to preschool to better prepare children for elementary school and improve childhood wellbeing. Padilla says an Early Childhood Education and Care Department is needed to provide consistency and accountability to those efforts.
Lawmakers are confronting a court order to provide more public education resources to help students from low income and minority families. Padilla’s bill reserves an assistant secretary position for a Native American community representative.