"Children do best in families, and being part of a family is a human need and essential to well-being," she said. "So, we'll be really prioritizing finding foster homes, both relative and non-relative, for these youths that are still being sent to group homes or institutions."
The nonprofit New Mexico Voices For Children recently issued a news release that cites an estimate that the feds will have as much as a $1 billion shortfall to pay for the count, along with the dire prediction that “Trump’s underfunding … is likely to hurt NM.”
More than 100,000 New Mexicans will see their pay increase starting in January now that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed legislation to raise the state minimum wage. “This is going to give hope and improve the quality of life” for New Mexicans at the bottom of the pay scale, the governor said Monday during a news conference at the Capitol.
First and foremost, we need to do what’s best for our children. Spending money and time on aggressive litigation against a court order that simply requires us to educate our children at the standard set forth in our own constitution is not what’s best for our children. Our K-12 education system needs fundamental change, and that will not occur unless we place a relentless focus on improving what’s happening in the classroom, not “winning” in the courtroom.
Amber Wallin, deputy director for New Mexico Voices for Children, called the new Early Childhood department “big,” creating opportunity for the state to coordinate programs and ensure children who need them get all the services they are qualified for.
"This is really a game changer for our state, being a state that's very large, with a big rural population, tribal population,” Vigil stresses. “This is a really innovative and critical step that our state is taking to address those access needs."
New Mexico is one of many states that have failed to increase per-student funding compared to a decade ago, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). There are 26 states that have made larger investments in K-12 students since 2008, per-student funding in New Mexico remained at nine percent less in 2016 than in 2008, after considering inflation.
Hosts Chris Ramirez and Nathan O'Neal discussed what's in store for New Mexico's children. From the 2020 census to the bills working through the Roundhouse right now, there are many impacts on the future generations. Featured on the show are James Jimenez and Amber Wallin with New Mexico Voices for Children.
Despite rapid economic growth in 2018, a report from New Mexico Voices for Children found that the number of New Mexico children living in poverty is actually increasing — nearly 1 in 3 kids is being raised at or below the poverty line. Thankfully, there are solutions capable of breaking this cycle and setting New Mexico on a path toward giving every child an equal opportunity to succeed.
“People are working – they’re just not making enough to get by,” said Bill Jordan of New Mexico Voices for Children. “It’s time to raise the wage.”