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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.

Conservancy could solve parkway woes - Sacramento Bee

Another year, another plan to fix the American River Parkway. Still, we’re hoping this latest idea might just work.

As the 23-mile urban forest continues to struggle in the wake of devastating budget cuts during the recession, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, has suggested creating a state conservancy like the one that has so benefited the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers.

Preschool must be priority for all California kids

It's a well-worn cliche, but it's true. One of the smartest things anyone can do is invest in the future.

Gov. Jerry Brown, willing to follow that adage on many important issues, has the chance to do it for education by signing Assembly Bill 47. Authored by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, the bill would go a long way toward ensuring every 4-year-old in California can attend preschool.

Guest commentary: Golden State is not so golden for its at-risk children

Is the Golden State "golden" for kids?

According to a recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, California ranks 38th in the nation when it comes to the well-being of its children. Researchers estimate that 23 percent -- almost one of every four -- children in this state are currently living in poverty.

Why do a district attorney and a retired vice admiral care? We care because we understand that the steps we take today to address poverty will have a lasting impact on both public safety and national security in the long run.