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Early Education Advocates, Policy Makers at Odds Over State’s Preschool Recommendations

Early Education Advocates, Policy Makers At Odds Over State’s Preschool Recommendations

California’s Legislative Analysis Office is advising that the state should require its preschool to offer full-day programs for low income families, says

"The recommendations, contained in a review of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed childcare and preschool budget for 2016-17, would cover 270,000 4-year-old children through both part- and full-day publicly funded programs,” the article said.

While the recommendations would aim to serve 50,000 children than are currently enrolled in the California State Preschool Program and transitional kindergarten, not all early education advocates are happy.

“... early education advocates have not warmed to the LAO recommendation, saying it could be impractical for working parents if it is not year-round, and sidesteps the question of additional funding for early education. Still, policy experts said the recommendation will carry weight.”

Advocates say the recommendations depart from the goal established in the state’s 2014-15 budget which already intended to provide "year-long, full-day preschool to all low-income 4-year-olds.”

In other words, advocates view the recommendations as a step backwards from this goal.

Policy experts, however, are particularly hopeful that LAO’s involvement will mean action is taken.

““'People pay attention to (the LAO) because it’s going to be part of the discussion when the governor and the Legislature get together to try and reach consensus,' said Mark Baldassare, president of the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California."

Read the full story. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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