Education

Early Childhood

June 16, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

California Pre-K

Actor and director Rob Reiner and the California Teachers Association have withdrawn a statewide tax initiative from the November ballot that would have earmarked some of the revenue for “universal” prekindergarten.

Huge opposition from the business community, as well as from within the ranks of early-childhood education itself, led Mr. Reiner and the CTA to take the action.

But the end of that campaign hasn’t stopped the moviemaker from pushing his pre-K agenda at the county level. Mr. Reiner helped kick off two new preschool initiatives in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties earlier this month.

“Preschool helps children develop better social and emotional skills,” Mr. Reiner said in a press release. “Studies consistently show it also helps them perform better for the rest of their lives.”

Money to help pay for the programs is coming from the Proposition 10 tobacco tax, sponsored by Mr. Reiner, that California voters approved in 1998. In addition to the statewide First 5—or Children and Families Commission—that Mr. Reiner chairs, each of California’s 58 counties has a local commission that oversees and appropriates local Proposition 10 revenues.

Over the next 10 years, the San Francisco First 5 commission plans to spend $155 million to implement prekindergarten.

Santa Clara County’s commission is dedicating $50 million over the next five years to phase in pre-K.

Similar efforts are also at various stages in several other counties, including San Mateo, Merced, and Sacramento.

The state commission’s “Preschool for All” effort is supporting the growth of local pre-K programs with planning grants in 12 counties.

Mr. Reiner first urged the Los Angeles First 5 commission in 2002 to use a portion of its money to pay for preschool programs.

Last year, the commission voted to spend $600 million over 10 years to bring free preschool to every 4-year-old in the county, about 153,000 boys and girls, regardless of family income. Now, the commission is deciding which communities have the greatest need for preschool facilities.

“L.A. offered us a good model to follow,” said Moira Kenney, the executive director of the San Francisco First 5 panel.

Universal preschool programs aim to serve all 4-year-olds or all 3- and 4-year-olds in a given area, but often help the neediest children first.

Linda Jacobson

A version of this article appeared in the June 16, 2004 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read