by Sasha Lenninger, KOAT TV Action 7 News
January 19, 2016

TODD: The annual KIDS COUNT report is out this morning. There is some improvement, though it’s still a grim picture for children in New Mexico. Action 7 News reporter Sasha Lenninger has more on what’s in the report. Good morning.

SASHA: Good morning, Todd. Executive Director Veronica Garcia tells me there have been some major improvements when it comes to teen pregnancy, low birth-weight babies, and on-time graduation. She says the improvements come from policies that were set in place a few years ago, but she says there’s still a few issues they want to fix. According to the KIDS COUNT report, New Mexico now has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation. Garcia says children can learn while in poverty but she claims research shows that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to drop out of school. She says the state needs to launch some sort effort to try and fix the poverty issue.

VERONICA: we need to invest boldly into early childhood education, and while there are appropriates there, in order to make a bold commitment to this. We highly recommend that legislators take a look at passing a constitutional amendment that would take a small fraction of a land grant permanent fund to fund early childhood education.

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