News

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

By Tony Thurmond and Kevin McCarty, Special to CALmatters

We have school age daughters who were fortunate to attend preschool and we’ve seen firsthand the difference it’s made.

Every child in California deserves that same opportunity, and that’s why we are advocating for pre-kindergarten education for all kids.

Our children are doing well academically. But too many families don’t have these same opportunities and children who start behind stay behind.

More than 30 percent of California’s low-income 4-year-olds and 66 percent of low-income 3-year-olds lack access to quality pre-k. According to Stanford’s Getting Down to Facts II report, these children enter kindergarten unprepared for school and seldom catch up. This achievement gap has long-term repercussions, not just for children’s long-term success, but also for our state’s economy as a whole.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

As momentum builds in California to expand early childhood education programs, the state has the opportunity to look outside its borders and learn from other states and cities that have moved in the direction of offering universal preschool.

During his campaign, Governor-elect Gavin Newsom said he was “committed to universal preschool, equipping all of California’s children with the tools to succeed when they start kindergarten.” He also emphasized the need for expanding services to children 0-3 years old.

Advocates are now eagerly awaiting what Newsom will propose when he is sworn in as the state’s chief executive on Jan. 7.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

State legislators on Monday introduced two bills that would make education more accessible to California’s youngest and some of its oldest learners, complementing efforts already underway in San Francisco.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago has called for the state to provide two tuition-free years of community college for first-time, full-time community students under Assembly Bill 2, and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty is looking to expand access to preschool education for low and middle-income families under Assembly Bill 123.

Both proposals will “hopefully build on the Bay Area’s leadership in helping students, whether preschool families or college students, that are still left behind and don’t have the chance to participate,” McCarty told the San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty of Sacramento introduced three pieces of legislation on Tuesday aiming to provide free preschool to about 100,000 more children from low and middle-income households in California.

The first bill — ironically named AB123 — will cost $1.4 billion a year in addition to the existing $1.2 billion dollars already in place for preschool programs. He said current funds for state preschool are being spent wisely and he plans to build on current models.

“It's making a difference,” McCarty said. “Those kids are entering kindergarten ready to succeed. So we don't want to reinvent the wheel.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Even before California’s next governor takes office, the pressure is already mounting for him to follow through on campaign promises to improve access to preschool for the state’s 4-year-olds.

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom made expansion of early education programs a major part of his campaign, but what form that will take will become clearer when he releases his proposed budget for the next fiscal year in January.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, a longtime advocate for early education, introduced three bills this week to expand preschool programs, improve preschool facilities and increase reimbursement rates for preschool teachers.

“Unfortunately we have too many kids who start kindergarten behind and never catch up, and that’s because too many 3- and 4-year-olds never have the chance to attend preschool,” McCarty said.

Monday, December 3, 2018

SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers who have long promised to expand free preschool for children from poor and middle-class families were sworn into office Monday, with a new plan and a new ally.

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who campaigned on expanding early education, said Monday that he wants the state to take steps toward free preschool for all children whose families don’t make enough to afford private alternatives. A lawmaker promptly submitted a proposal to do just that.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, introduced a bill to make an additional 100,000 children ages 3 and 4 eligible for free preschool. Expanding the program that now pays for preschool for 175,000 children would cost the state about $1.3 billion over three years, McCarty said.

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Democrats return to the California Capitol on Monday with their strongest political advantage in decades poised to fulfill a huge item on their list of pent-up demands: Vastly expanded access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Their plan comes with a big price tag, a problem that has doomed past proposals, most recently with outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown. But with huge legislative majorities and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who called for more spending on early education in his campaign, they see an opportunity.

“There’s no better place to invest… There’s undisputed evidence that shows this is a fantastic remedy,” said Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento. He plans to introduce a nearly $2 billion package of bills Monday to give access to preschool to all low-income 4-year-olds and more 3-year-olds.

Early childhood education has been linked to myriad positive outcomes, from lower rates of incarceration to higher pay.