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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Lopez
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
2/14/06
HM
SHORT TITLE
EARLY CARE & EDUCATION RETIREMENT
BENEFITS
SM 42
ANALYST Weber
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
None
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Senate Memorial 42
Senate Memorial 42 indicates that professionally trained early childhood teachers and program
directors are essential to ensuring that quality programs are available for infants, toddlers and
preschoolers. The turnover rate of teachers is very high, between twenty-two percent and thirty-
three percent a year, according to the 2004 New Mexico early care and education workforce
study. Long-term, stable relationships are essential in the lives of the youngest children, and the
departure of teachers causes disruptions in early childhood programs and in the fabric of trust
and connection developed over time between young children and their teachers. High-quality
early childhood programs are necessary to ensure that children are ready for school when they
enter kindergarten. When early child care and education teachers gain more education and
acquire advanced degrees, they often leave early childhood programs to work in public schools,
where salaries, benefits and working conditions are substantially better. The New Mexico early
care and education workforce study indicates that one-third of early childhood teachers have no
health insurance. Many early childhood teachers are not eligible for the state coverage insurance
program because their incomes are more than two hundred percent of the federal poverty level.
The New Mexico early care and education workforce study participants listed higher pay and
better benefits as the top factors that would make teachers and program directors more likely to
remain in their jobs.
The memorial asks that the legislative health and human services committee be requested to
pg_0002
Senate Memorial 42 Page 2
study the value and impact of providing medical, retirement and other benefits to early care and
education teachers and directors, identify methods to deliver and finance benefits and report its
findings and recommendations, if any, to the first session of the forty-eighth legislature; and
that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to the chair of the legislative health and human
services committee.
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS
Since it seems most of the early childhood programs are private entities what mechanism will be
used to direct public funds for this use.
MW/nt