Linda Sánchez on California’s Pre-Kindergarten Budget Agreement (June 20, 2014)
(Washington, D.C.) –This morning, Governor Brown signed a budget that includes additional funding and a long-term commitment to provide pre-kindergarten opportunities for all low-income 4-year-olds in California. With a $264 million initial commitment starting this year, California will soon offer 234,000 low-income 4 year-olds a quality pre-K education, as well as a commitment to reach full implementation in future years.
“As a mother of a young 5-year old, I understand the importance of investing in early childhood education,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. “The academic achievement gap starts at a very young age and having a preschool system that is inclusive of all 4-year olds, regardless of their families financial status, is crucial for our students’ long-term educational success.”
Furthermore, these funds ensure agencies will continue to implement pre-kindergarten programs geared towards children from low-income and immigrant families, such as the Early Start and Head Start programs. “When I was a child, Head Start helped me start school at the same educational level as my peers, even though I was raised speaking a different language and of a modest background,” said Congresswoman Sánchez. This agreement helps support these types of programs so they have teachers with high qualifications, small classes, and strong family engagement programs. “I commend leaders of the Legislature for taking our shared commitment of improving early childhood education and turning it into action.”