SENATE BILL 242
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
Siah Correa Hemphill
RELATING TO EDUCATION; ENACTING THE PRESCHOOL LITERACY PROGRAM ACT; CREATING THE PRESCHOOL LITERACY PROGRAM; ESTABLISHING PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; REQUIRING REPORTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Preschool Literacy Program Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Preschool Literacy Program Act:
A. "division" means the early childhood education division of the early childhood education and care department;
B. "program" means the preschool literacy program established pursuant to the Preschool Literacy Program Act; and
C. "program partner" means a county, a municipality, a nonprofit organization or an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo located wholly or partially in New Mexico that contracts with the division to implement the program within its community or region.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] PRESCHOOL LITERACY PROGRAM--PROGRAM PARTNERS--ELIGIBILITY--REPORTS.--
A. The division shall establish a preschool literacy program. The goal of the program shall be to provide access to age-appropriate books to children statewide to increase the language and literacy skills of children entering kindergarten.
B. The division shall contract with program partners to implement the program.
C. When the division has contracted with a program partner for a community or region, any child under the age of five within that community or region shall be eligible to participate in the program. A child shall be a participant in the program upon enrollment by the child's parent or guardian. As a participant in the program, the child shall have a new age-appropriate book each month mailed to the child's home or address.
D. As a prerequisite of entering into a contract with the division, a program partner shall:
(1) agree to administer the program for a community or region, including enrolling participants into the program, vetting and purchasing age-appropriate books for program participants and mailing the books to the participants;
(2) agree to pay for a minimum of twenty percent of the cost of the program in the program partner's community or area; and
(3) demonstrate the administrative and financial capacity to implement the program in the program partner's community or region to the satisfaction of the division.
E. Payments to a program partner shall be made on a monthly basis upon receipt of vouchers from the chief executive officer or chief financial officer of a program partner by the division.
F. On or before July 1, 2025, and on or before July 1 of each subsequent year, the division shall consult with program partners and conduct a survey through a randomized mailing to two percent of the parents or guardians of program participants in each participating community or region regarding satisfaction with the program. On or before December 1, 2025, and on or before December 1 of each subsequent year, the division shall provide a report to the legislative education study committee summarizing the results of the consultations and survey and providing the division's recommendations for changes to the program.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2024.
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