By Libby Stanford, Education Week
Jan. 17, 2023

Is free preschool a constitutional right? Seventy percent of voters in New Mexico think so, and they’re not the only ones getting behind increasingly popular universal pre-K policies.

This November, New Mexico voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure to amend the state constitution to allocate more funding for education, including an estimated $150 million for pre-K and $100 million for K-12 programs annually. The measure added New Mexico to the growing number of states offering universal pre-K, in which all 4-year-olds can enroll in state-funded schooling before they reach kindergarten.

“We’ve known, through polling, research, and a several yearslong campaign, that this is a really popular proposal,” said Jacob Vigil, senior research and policy analyst at New Mexico Voices for Children, one of the nonprofits that campaigned for the ballot measure. “New Mexicans understand and want investments in the earliest years that lay the foundation for academic success.”

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