McCarty Legislation to Make Pre-K for All a Reality in California Approved by Assembly
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California State Assembly today approved AB 1754 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento), which would make high-quality early childhood education programs universally accessible for 4-year-old kids in California. The measure, also known as the Pre-K for All Act of 2018, was approved on a 47 to 9 vote.
Overwhelming research shows that investing in quality pre-kindergarten (pre-k) programs is highly effective in promoting brain development, student academic success, preventing kids from entering the juvenile justice system and fighting poverty. Additional research finds that kids who have had early experiences of economic scarcity and food insecurity make the most gains from enrollment in pre-k education.
Early intervention in a child’s education increases cognitive, language, social and emotional development. This leads to increased high school graduation rates, college attendance, decreasing crime and builds a stronger middle class.
“We know that early childhood education is essential to a student’s academic success and the long term economic well-being of our state,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “Unfortunately, tens of thousands of 4-year-olds are without access to pre-k programs. Now is the time to show courage and make universal access to pre-k a reality for all of California’s students. The Golden State’s children and our economy deserve nothing less.”
The California State Preschool program currently provides free early education for families who make up to $50,000 a year. While the state budget provides nearly $1 billion annually for 170,000 preschoolers to participate, there are approximately 40,000 low income 4-year olds who don’t have access to preschool before they enter kindergarten. AB 1754 would ensure that all income eligible 4-year olds have access to one year of enrollment in the California State Preschool Program.
AB 1754 is joint authored by Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (D – Glendale), Eduardo Garcia (D – Coachella) and Rob Bonta (D – Oakland) and now moves to the State Senate for further consideration.
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Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.