The Opportunity Scholarship, which became law in July 2022, provides money for qualifying adult students to get an education at a four-year or community college. It is available to working adults who may have started and not finished college or working adults who want to complete specialized training in a trade or earn a college degree. The Lottery Scholarship was established in 1996 to provide high school graduates with funding to pay part of the cost of attending community college or a four-year public college or university full-time.
GO Bond 3 is ONLY designed to provide public colleges and universities with funds to renovate existing facilities; replace old, outdated facilities with new facilities; or upgrade campuses with new technology or safety enhancements. It does not provide funds to students.
GO Bond 3 funds are intended to make colleges and universities safe places to learn that are competitive with public colleges and universities in other states. The funds cannot be used for any purpose other than projects listed in the legislation that authorized the bond question to be put on the ballot.
The goals are to: 1) maintain the public colleges and universities taxpayers have already invested in; and 2) graduate professionals with in-demand skills who will stay in New Mexico and contribute to our state's future.
Many degrees and certificates (healthcare, trades, technology, etc.) REQUIRE a blend of classroom, laboratory and/or hands-on learning as well as online instruction. Also, some students learn more effectively in a classroom than an online setting, so it is important to provide options.
In addition, many public colleges and universities offer meeting and performance spaces to groups throughout their communities. By maintaining these facilities, we ensure those groups have safe places to meet as well as offer events such as community theater performances.
The reasons for declining college enrollment include declining birthrates, the widespread immediate availability of jobs and greater public skepticism of the need for higher education, but the potential long-term effects of this decline could be disastrous.
People without education past high school are more likely to live in poverty and less likely to be employed. They're more prone to depression, live shorter lives, divorce more frequently, and vote and volunteer less often.
With fewer people going to college, society is going to be less healthy. It will be harder to find people to fill the jobs we need in the future and it will be harder for innovation to occur. The bottom line is that if Americans keep choosing not to go to college, the U.S. will continue its economic slide.
The 2022 GO Bond to support higher education is tax neutral, as verified by the State of New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration. These bonds are a replacement of general obligation bonds for higher education that are expiring or have already expired. The passage of 2022 GO Bond 3 for higher education will not increase tax rates.
If GO Bond 3 fails to pass, there is no guarantee property tax rates will be reduced, nor will it give the State of New Mexico the ability to use this money for other purposes. The last time the GO Bond for higher education failed was in 2010. After that election, we could not find evidence that property taxes decreased in any county in New Mexico.
Research shows the bond will create about one (1) job, on average, for every $100,000 in funding in architecture, construction and related fields. Therefore, this year's bond funding of $215,560,000 will create an estimated 2,156 jobs. People who renovate or build facilities or provide services contribute to the economies of the communities where public colleges and facilities are located by eating, staying in and purchasing goods and services in those communities. Plus, communities and counties benefit from increases in gross receipts taxes.