Free preschool gains momentum with California lawmakers

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.