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My turn: What other states can teach California about preschool for all

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.

What California can learn from universal preschool in other states

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.

State, SF work to expand access to education at preschool, college levels

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.

Sacramento Lawmaker Introduces 'Pre-K For All' Bill Package

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.

New push underway to expand preschool for low-income children in California

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.

Free preschool gains momentum with California lawmakers

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.

More California kids would attend preschool under push in Legislature

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.

Sacramento Business Journal: AB 19 would make community college accessible to as many as possible

We think most employers would agree that the job market of the 21st Century requires additional credentials and that post-secondary training of some kind is almost mandatory to guarantee gainful employment. California faces an estimated shortage of one million college-educated workers needed to sustain our workforce and competitive advantage. This is our reality. A high school diploma alone isn’t enough.