By Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM
Jan. 15, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. — As part of opening day at the 2019 New Mexico Legislature, the state’s Voices for Children group will highlight its annual New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book.

Deputy Director Amber Wallin said there have been improvements in teen birth rates, increased rates of kids covered by insurance, higher preschool enrollment and reduced child poverty. But the state’s dead-last ranking for child well-being reported last summer means lawmakers have more work to do.

“We see big disparities for children of color, and that our rankings in many indicator areas -including the fact that we are now last in the nation, 50th in overall child well-being – all of those things are really holding us back from making progress for our kids,” Wallin said.

A 2018 court ruling found that New Mexico is violating the rights of at-risk students by not providing adequate resources for low-income and minority families. Advocates for children would like to see some of the anticipated budget surplus from the state’s booming oil and gas industry directed to education.

Read more at Public News Service – NM