Because early childhood education profoundly influences a child’s ability to succeed, Think New Mexico’s inaugural project sought to make high-quality full-day kindergarten accessible to every child in New Mexico.
During the 2000 legislative session, our efforts were rewarded when the legislature passed a landmark bipartisan bill phasing in full-day kindergarten over a five-year period, which then-Governor Gary Johnson signed into law.
Think New Mexico has remained involved since then, ensuring that the program is implemented in a high-quality manner. We fought to ensure that the program gave priority to the most at-risk students (as required by the law).
We also conducted an independent survey of New Mexico’s elementary schools, determined that the costs for new full-day kindergarten classroom construction were significantly lower than previously predicted, and successfully advocated for over $15 million for new classrooms. In October of 2002, the Foundation for Child Development published a case study on Think New Mexico’s successful full-day kindergarten campaign.
From 2000-2004, Think New Mexico organized “best practices” training and professional development conferences for new full-day kindergarten teachers and principals.
In September of 2004, full-day kindergarten classes were expanded from 80% to 100% of the eligible population, or a grand total of about 24,000 children, bringing New Mexico from the bottom to the top of at least one significant national ranking (i.e. access to full-day kindergarten) in only five years.
Read Stateline article highlighting New Mexico as one of only 12 states with universal access to full-day kindergarten • January 13, 2014
Read Think New Mexico’s opinion editorial on Heath Haussamen’s nmpolitics.net, discussing the results of our full-day kindergarten initiative • March 26, 2012
Read Santa Fe New Mexican editorial on the implementation of full-day kindergarten • August 27, 2004
Read Santa Fe New Mexican editorial on the passage of the full-day kindergarten law • March 11, 2000
Read Think New Mexico’s opinion editorial on full-day kindergarten • February 2000
Download a Case Study on Think New Mexico’s full-day kindergarten victory published by the Foundation for Child Development
Download an NEA Report that provides strategies and suggestions for supporters seeking to increase access to full-day kindergarten in other states