New Mexico bill urging ‘clowning’ in schools gets 1st test

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FILE – In this Sept. 8, 2015 file photo, a reluctant student is pulled into the first day of kindergarten at an elementary School in Clio, Mich. A study shows the youngest children in a classroom are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It’s an intriguing finding for parents considering what’s […]

 A New Mexico proposal that would seek funding to promote circus arts such as “clowning” and “giant puppetry” in schools is scheduled to face its first test.

The bill sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Nancy Rodriguez is slated to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Friday and has faced ridicule from Republicans.

Under the proposal, the state would allocate $100,000 to the Public Education Department for a program to educate children in “trapeze, aerial fabrics, unicycling, juggling, clowning, stilt-walking, giant puppetry and partner acrobatics.”

Rodriguez says circus arts are an effective way for children to get active.

House Republicans, however, have chided Rodriguez and Democrats for proposing to spend $100,000 on “clowning” while voting for a proposal that would exclude private schools from receiving state funding for textbooks.

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