In a sign of how much term limits are affecting the legislative process in California, freshman legislators have been appointed to chair four out of six key committees handling education and children's issues – even though they had no prior experience as lawmakers in the state Capital.
As public support and awareness of the importance of preschool grows at the federal, state and local level, there is a debate in the early childhood education world over how to achieve "universal preschool" and what form it should take.
Of the panoply of reforms now being implemented in California schools, the one affecting the state’s youngest public school students passed almost unnoticed this fall. California children now have to be 5 years old by Sept. 1 to enroll in kindergarten.
President Obama’s call for universal preschool appears to have stalled in Washington due to political gridlock, but administration officials are hoping that states like California will pick up the slack.
Merely a week after proposing that transitional kindergarten become a program for all 4-year-olds from low-income families, state Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg plans to drop that language in deference to a budget deal that would send more money to the existing state preschool program.