California Fair Share

A grassroots campaign to make sure everyone gets a fair shot, pays their fair share and plays by the same rules

Child Care Advocates Applaud Bipartisan Federal Early Education Bill, Call for California to Step Up and Lead the Way

Raising California Together

Washington DC – On Wednesday, November 13th, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) introduced the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act,” a bill that would dramatically expand access to early childhood education for millions of American children.

The following is a statement by Mark Friedman, Executive Director of First 5 Alameda and co-chair of Raising California Together, a statewide coalition of parents, academics, educators, community leaders and child care providers:

“A substantial body of scientific research indicates that early learning and care are key to closing the achievement gap—and producing the skilled workforce critical to the success of our economy. These leaders in Congress are right to put children’s first five years front and center as a matter of policy—for their futures as well as a national priority.

If Congress can recognize that access to early learning programs is key to moving us forward, why can’t California?

“California has historically been a leader in education, but our state legislators cut $1 billion from early education during the recession—leaving our children, who were already falling behind other states, with even fewer opportunities. In recent national tests, California’s 4th graders ranked 47th in the nation in both math and reading. And according to the National Assessment of Education Progress, California has one of the nation’s largest achievement gaps separating white and Latino students in English and math.

“If our state leaders are serious about turning California around, Sacramento must take concrete steps to improve access to the early learning that makes all the difference. Childhood learning and care have been linked not only to academic success but also to the reduction of incarceration and teen pregnancy rates. In the end, California has two choices: continue to complain about our ever-widening achievement gap in K-12, the high number of students dropping out of school and the high cost of our rising inmate population; or we can invest in the early learning that is guaranteed to pay off.

“We face a clear choice in the coming budget cycle. If we are going to move California forward, we must prioritize early learning and child care for all of California’s kids. Regardless of how long Washington takes to negotiate over our children’s future, the Golden State can’t afford to fail our children, which is why we are calling on Governor Brown and the California Legislature to take the lead now.”

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .
California Fair Share

A grassroots campaign to make sure everyone gets a fair shot, pays their fair share and plays by the same rules

Raising California Together

A grassroots campaign to make sure everyone gets a fair shot, pays their fair share and plays by the same rules

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