Dear Commons Community,
Reuters is reporting that a top California lawmaker unveiled a $1 billion proposal on Tuesday to fund free public preschool for all children in the state, the latest challenge by Democratic leaders to fiscal restraints imposed by Governor Jerry Brown.
The plan by Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg to offer pre-kindergarten to California 4-year-olds comes as he and other Democratic lawmakers try to push Brown to raise spending on social services, including education, in next year’s budget.
“The era of cutting education in California is over,” Steinberg told a news conference at a Sacramento elementary school. “The issue is, how can we prudently invest?”
He said children who attend high quality preschools do markedly better throughout their educations, are more likely to attend college and less likely to commit crimes as adults.
The proposal marks the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers to stake out progressive political ground at a time when Brown, also a Democrat, has charted a more centrist path. A similar plan is under consideration in the state assembly backed by Democratic Speaker John Perez, a spokesman said.
California has taken a good and timely decision to consider free preschool for all children. In this way a lot of children will get benefits.