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Commentary: LAUSD preschool cuts penny-wise, pound-foolish

LA School Report | April 21, 2015

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By Sandy Banks | The Los Angeles Times

Three years ago, adult education was on the chopping block at Los Angeles Unified. Money was tight and the classes were considered a luxury the district could no longer afford.

This time around, the system’s smallest students are being asked to sacrifice: To save $16 million, the district has proposed cutting 4,000 preschool slots at 138 elementary schools.

In a district with a $7.3-billion budget and high-schoolers who can’t read, that seems penny-wise and pound-foolish to me.

Educators, economists, social scientists and even politicians agree that a quality early learning program is the best way to prepare low-income children to succeed. It’s particularly important in a district like Los Angeles, where one in three students begins school speaking little or no English.

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