- Associated Press - Friday, March 1, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico proposal that would seek funding to promote circus arts such as “clowning” and “giant puppetry” in schools has passed its first test.

The Senate Education Committee voted Friday to move along a bill sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Nancy Rodriguez despite 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.”

Former clowns and the circus arts nonprofit group Wise Fool New Mexico came out to support the measure.

Republicans 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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