New Mexico voters want to know…what is the Permanent School Fund ballot question?

About the Permanent School Fund: 

The Permanent School Fund (also known as the Land Grant Permanent Fund) was created when New Mexico became a state. The fund invests revenue raised from oil, gas, and mineral production on 13 million acres of state lands, and the state constitution requires that a small percentage of that money be withdrawn annually to help fund public education. 

New Mexico’s Permanent School Fund is currently valued at nearly $26 billion dollars. 

About the Permanent School Fund ballot question:

The Permanent School Fund ballot question will appear on the back of your November 8th General Election ballot. This question will ask voters to approve an additional percentage of the Fund be distributed for education. That additional percentage would result in about $150 million in new funding available for early childhood education and roughly $100 million in additional funding for teachers and programs to address inequities in educational outcomes for at-risk* students in our public schools. 

Additional funding for these programs will come from oil and gas revenues and interest on the fund investment. It does not raise taxes on New Mexicans.

*At-risk is defined by the court in the Yazzie & Martinez vs New Mexico decision as low-income, Native American, English language learner, and special education students.

Read the Legislative Finance Committee Public Education Subcommittee report on addressing the Yazzie & Martinez vs New Mexico court decision.

Voting on November 8, 2022

Voting and registering to vote is easier than ever in New Mexico. If you are unregistered or need to update your registration, visit NMVote.org, and don’t forget to FILL OUT THE ENTIRE BALLOT on November 8.

TEXT OF THE PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND BALLOT QUESTION: 

PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT ARTICLE 12, SECTION 7 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW MEXICO TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL ANNUAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND FOR ENHANCED INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS AT RISK OF FAILURE, EXTENDING THE SCHOOL YEAR, TEACHER COMPENSATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION; REQUIRING CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL FOR DISTRIBUTION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.

People are wondering what this nearly $250 million in new annual funding might pay for…

Some examples include: 

  • Hiring more teachers 
  • Creating high-school career technical education and job training programs
  • Increasing benefits for teachers 
  • Supplying classroom technology 
  • Raising teacher salaries 
  • Expanding mental health services for students and educators
  • Hiring more student support staff, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, and nurses
  • Funding to address  students at risk of failure
  • Paying for building maintenance and repair, including new ventilation systems
  • Funding early education services like early childhood education 
  • Hiring daycare workers 
  • Extending the school year for additional instruction ( optional for communities)
  • Funding Early childhood and family support services like home visits 

VOLUNTEER! 

Help us educate voters on the Permanent School Fund ballot question! We need volunteers to reach voters – can you spare a few hours to make phone calls or send text messages between now and November 8th? Please sign up here.