California Fair Share

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

Gapbusters Bus Tour is Rolling!

Early Education Advocates: “California Sets Up Its Littlest Kids to Fail”

Coalition of more than 50 organizations to launch a 3-day, 7-stop tour of California highlighting quality early education as fundamental to closing the Achievement Gap

Sacramento, Calif. – As the importance of early learning reaches a fever pitch nationally, education advocates will embark on a statewide bus tour making stops at family childcare centers, schools, low income housing communities and the state capitol highlighting the enormous benefits of early learning programs for children ages 0 to 5.

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#GapBusters and #KidGovernor on the move for quality early childhood education and care

“It has become a well-documented fact that early education sets up children for success, but it can also set up an entire state for prosperity, increased public safety, and a thriving economy,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson who is joining kids, parents, early educators and education administrators as the “Gapbusters” bus tour launches in southern California. “Quality early childhood education has been shown to have lifelong effects on schooling, employment and more. Quality early education isn’t just about kids, its about the future of California.”

The “Gapbusters” tour calls on Governor Jerry Brown to position California to lead nationally by having every child—particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds—ready to learn on the first day of kindergarten, and to continue to build on his legacy of a strong K-12 education system for all of California’s children.

“Without access to quality child care programs, children are entering school so far behind that it is difficult for many of them to ever catch up,” says Shaunte Brown, a childcare provider who runs a child care program in San Diego “This is the ‘achievement gap.’ Little five year-olds are arriving to their first day of kindergarten already behind because they were placed on a waiting list instead of a quality day care. If California is serious about having every child thrive in school and beyond, we need to invest in the early learning and care today.”

San Diego stop of the Gapbusters tour: Kindergarten teacher talks about her students who are starting way behind her peers who attended preschool.

San Diego stop of the Gapbusters tour: Kindergarten teacher talks about her students who are starting way behind her peers who attended preschool.

In California, the educational achievement gap – a stark difference in educational success between low- and high-income students -has gone unaddressed, with only 8% of income-eligible infants and toddlers able to access state-funded child care assistance for high quality child care services.

“If we want kids to succeed in grades K-12, we need to set them up for success from zero to five,” said Kendra Rogers, Executive Director of First 5 Fresno County. “California is known for leading the pack when it comes to bold initiatives that have a lasting, positive impact on future generations. It’s time for California’s leaders to join their counterparts from coast to coast in prioritizing early investment in children to create a better future for generations of Californians.”

Just in the last month the national conversation about the importance of early learning has elevated; President Obama spoke to the importance of prioritizing children’s early care in his State of the Union address. “Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education,” said the President. “Thirty states have raised pre-k funding on their own. They know we can’t wait.”

Democrats and Republicans alike across the US are proposing programs to close the achievement gap. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have both proposed plans to fund pre-kindergarten. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan, who recently raised statewide preschool spending by $65 million, called early education “a human need and an economic need” with dividends that will “show up for decades to come.”

But California trails the nation, neglecting early learning and care in this year’s proposed budget. Child care providers, advocates and other passengers on the bus are calling on Governor Brown to close the achievement gap and move the state forward by taking the following concrete steps:

  1. Committing to a real and long-term investment in early learning and care programs by starting with the restoration of over $1 billion that was cut from the system since the economic crisis began.
  2. Prioritizing the recruitment and retention of quality child care providers by signing the Quality Family Child Care Act (AB 641), which will help improve training and oversight of the state’s child care system and help improve quality by giving child care providers the right to collectively bargain for improvements to the system. California’s overall lack of investment has real consequences; today 3 out of 4 children in California lack access to licensed child care spaces during the critical zero-to-five years. Yet the California Budget Project’s “Starting Strong” report documents that child care and development spending has fallen to 1.2 percent of total state spending, down from 2.0 percent in 2007-08.

Follow along with the Gapbusters tour on Twitter by using the hashtag #Gapbusters and following @RaisingCA, and on Facebook by going to facebook.com/raisingcaliforniatogether.

Raising California Together (@RaisingCA) is a broad coalition of over 50 local, state and national organizations including R&R agencies, child care associations, provider and parent networks, faith-based institutions, small businesses, labor unions, and civil rights groups. We are united to demand leadership from Gov. Jerry Brown and Sacramento to transform our state’s early learning and care system into a model for the nation by championing increased, permanent zero-to-five investment as the sure-fire policy solution to catapult our K-12 students into college and expand economic opportunities for all.

Organizational Partners:

AFSCME • Alliance for a Better Community • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment

(ACCE) • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) • Association of Black Social Workers,

Los Angeles • BANANAS •Black Women for Wellness • Brotherhood Crusade • California College

Democrats • California Fair Share • California Food Policy Advocates • California Immigrant Policy Center

• California Labor Federation • California School Employees Association • Child Care Law Center • Child

Care Providers United • Children’s Advocate | Defensor de los Niños • Children’s Defense Fund,

California • Community Coalition of South LA • C.S.U Graduate Assistants, UAW 4123 • Oscar Dela Torre,

School Board Member Santa Monica/Malibu School District • DREAM Team Los Angeles • First 5

Alameda County • First 5 Fresno County • First 5 Marin County • Sandra Fluke, Attorney and Social

Justice Advocate • Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (ICIR-CLUE-CA) • LAANE • Lakeshore Avenue

Baptist Church, Oakland • Martin Luther King Coalition • Mi Familia Vota • Mujeres Unidas y Activas • National Action Network, Los Angeles • NAACP, Los Angeles • National Council of La Raza • National

Organization for Women (CA-NOW) • Orange County NOW • Our Family Coalition • Our Walmart • Parent

Institute for Quality Education • Pico Youth and Family Center • Planned Parenthood of California •

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – CA • Ruach Christian Community Fellowship • Safe Passages

• Service Employees International Union (SEIU) • SEIU Locals 99 & 521 • Special Needs Network, Inc. •

St. John’s Well Child & Family Center • South of Market Child Care, Inc. • U.C. Postdoctoral Scholars,

UAW 5810 • United Way of Greater Los Angeles • Western Center on Law & Poverty

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
California Fair Share

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