ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Nearly 20 new laws went into effect in New Mexico Wednesday. Some of those laws will crack down on corruption, others will give hunters new permits but one new law will give a kids a leg up on learning.
That new program is called “K-3 Plus” and it helps disadvantaged students catch up by teaching at least 25 days more than other students.
This started as a test program in 2007 and has since helped an average of more than 6,000 students a year.
A recently study found that 3rd graders who participated in the K-3 Plus program were far more likely to perform at grade level than those who didn’t. This news is a pretty big deal given the program only costs the state about $1,000 per student. To compare, holding a third grader back a grade costs nearly $7,000.
The effectiveness of K-3 Plus was one reason lawmakers not only made the program permanent but also more than doubled its funding for the school year to a total of $11 million.
Leighann Lenti with the Public Education Department says the money will go towards greatly improving K-3 Plus.
“We expect to see quite an increase this year with the additional funding and again we are going to be able to give that extra support to teachers and programs so they have more effective skills and strategies when they're working with students,” Lenti said.
Lenti said the numbers show that these programs are especially critical because students who can read at the end of the third grade are four times more likely to complete high school than students who can’t.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.