Saturday, 25 May 2024

Governor signs pre-kindergarten education legislation

SACRAMENTO – Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that increases access to pre-kindergarten programs and works to improve the quality of child development programs.


SB 1629 by Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) would develop a ratings system on the quality of early education programs and AB 2759 by Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) – and co-authored by North Coast Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) – streamlines funding to expand preschool availability throughout the state.


"Pre-kindergarten education is the first formal step a child takes toward academic success and California's children deserve the highest-quality programs that put them on track to a successful future," said Schwarzenegger. "This legislation will help to ensure early education programs are available to the children who need them most and that the state continues to achieve higher quality child development programs."


SB 1629 establishes the Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee to propose recommendations on how to evaluate and improve the quality of child development programs providing services from birth to age five, including preschool. The bill also establishes a framework for future resources necessary to achieve and maintain higher quality programs.


AB 2759 establishes the California State Preschool Program (CSP), which consolidates all the early childhood education programs in the state. Specifically, CSP streamlines funding which will expand preschool options, increase program availability and reduce administrative costs.


In 2006, Schwarzenegger signed legislation to expand pre-kindergarten to more than 12,000 children living in areas with low performing schools.


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