LAUSD and 40 other advocates urging governor to sign pre-K bill
Mike Szymanski | September 28, 2015
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More than 40 agencies, representing a diverse coalition of bipartisan support, are urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill requiring preschool for all children in low-income families. The governor has until Oct. 11 to sign or veto the bill.
The bill is sponsored by Early Edge California, an educational advocacy group that is working to ensure that children have early experiences to be successful learners by the end of third grade. The agencies are hoping that the broad coalition will be an impetus to win the governor’s support.
“AB 47 will keep the promise to preschoolers,” said Deborah Kong, president of Early Edge California. “Far too many of our vulnerable children are starting behind and staying behind simply because they don’t have access to a preschool program. AB 47 helps us right this wrong.”
Support also comes from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who issued a statement saying, “Preschool programs are a wise investment for our society. Research shows that these programs help lower the achievement gap and the high school drop-out rate, while also reducing crime and teenage pregnancies.”
The President’s Council of Economic Advisers showed in a study that every dollar invested in high-quality early education can save more than $8 in the form of students being held back, dropping out or getting involved in crime.
Known as the Preschool for All Act of 2015, AB 47 was proposed by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty and would ensure that all eligible 4-year-old children who aren’t currently enrolled preschool or transitional kindergarten will have access to the California State Preschool Program by June 30, 2018. Funding is contingent upon appropriations in the annual budget. The Assembly voted 69 to 4 and the Senate approved it 28 to 11, with Republicans joining in support.
McCarty, a Democrat who represents parts of Sacramento, said, “Thanks to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Legislature, and to this broad coalition of supporters who helped me push this bill to the Governor’s desk. I am proud to author a bill that invests in quality early childhood education and puts California’s future first.”
LA Unified is listed as a supporter along with the Los Angeles Urban League, Los Angeles Universal Preschool, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Jewish Community Relations Council and United Way of California. School districts including Alamada, Butte, Santa Barbara, Compton, Santa Clara and Sacramento are also in support.
Click here for a full list of supporters.