Santa Fe Reporter--“One of the big policies that we’re excited about this year is particularly focused on Native American students and helping them to graduate, and that’s related to really making sure there is dedicated funding to support our Native students,” Wildau said. “We’re going to be really supportive of that.”
Santa Fe New Mexican--"All of these common-sense decisions ... not only prevented a significant decline in well-being for New Mexico kids and families, but it also laid a strong foundation for us to continue seeing improvements in many indicators of child well-being in the 2022 data," Wildau said.
Las Cruces Sun-News--The fact is, New Mexico has made some extraordinary headway in improving opportunities for kids in recent years. Some of it’s made nationwide headlines. Our investments in child care assistance, voter-approved expansion of early childhood services, and child-focused tax policy improvements all received national accolades.
NM Political Report--Wallin said New Mexico Voices for Children would like to see the state “continue to keep up its investments in kids and families.” “The key is we don’t stop now. We continue to look at the long view. We continue to find new areas,” she said, adding that one could be increasing child educator pay.
Albuquerque Journal--But Amber Wallin, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, said the state has launched new programs that may take time to show up in the annual report. The state, she said, dramatically expanded a child care assistance program in mid-2021 — the year much of the data is based on — and voters just last year authorized hefty increases in the funding available for early childhood education and K-12 schools.
Santa Fe New Mexican--“The thing about the rankings is that they’re only one small part of the story about child well-being and about opportunity. … They don’t tell us about where we’ve been as a state, how far we’ve come or where we should be going,” Wallin said.
KOAT TV--The 2023 Kids County Data Book shows New Mexico ranks last in the nation for child well-being. New Mexico was ranked on 16 different indicators for the well-being of children. The report shows New Mexico ranks 49th in economic well-being, with 24% of children living in poverty.
NM Political Report--New Mexico continues to sit last in the U.S. for reading and math proficiency but the rates of those proficiencies over the long term have improved at a higher rate when compared to the U.S. rates, Wildau said. “It’s not as high as we’d like but we have seen improvements. And the number of improvements are stronger over the long term than the U.S. as a whole,” Wildau said.
Santa Fe New Mexican--On a positive note, more young New Mexicans are enrolled in prekindergarten programs than at any time in the past decade, the 2022 data shows. Wallin attributed this change to recent investments in New Mexico’s early education system: It’s “one of our strong suits.”
Washington Post--Child-care advocates in New Mexico have tried for more than a decade to secure this money. The fight began in 2011, when a group called New Mexico Voices for Children proposed tapping into the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to pay for early child care and education programs.