PRESS RELEASE - April 13, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Gilbert Gallegos
(505) 476-2217

Governor Bill Richardson announces approval for plan to pay for full-day Kindergarten classrooms

Santa Fe - The State Board of Finance, chaired by Governor Bill Richardson, announced today approval of $5 million for a plan to pay for classrooms to house full-day kindergarten programs. This clears the way for money to be used immediately to ensure that every five-year-old has access next school year to classes offering full-day kindergarten.

“This is a win-win situation for school districts, and it shows that the state is eager to work with school districts to find solutions -- to do what’s best for New Mexico students,” said Governor Bill Richardson

Governor Richardson, working with the Legislature, included $5 million in general- obligation bond money to pay for full-day kindergarten classrooms. However, since the bonds must be approved by voters this fall, the money will not be available for the start of the next school year.

This action will give school districts the money they need to start the school year. The Public Education Department will monitor their progress to ensure all New Mexicans have access to full-day kindergarten. This approval from the Board of Finance will allow school districts to provide classroom space in the next few months and be reimbursed by the Public School Capital Outlay Council.

If voters approve the G.O. bond issue later this year, school districts will repay the Capital Outlay Council from their G.O.-bond proceeds.