California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 47


Introduced by Assembly Member McCarty

December 1, 2014


An act to add and repeal Section 8235.1 of the Education Code, relating to preschool.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 47, as introduced, McCarty. State preschool program: report.

Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer all California state preschool programs, which include part-day age and developmentally appropriate programs for 3- and 4-year-old children, as provided. Existing law provides that 3- and 4-year-old children are eligible for the state part-day preschool program if the family meets one of several eligibility requirements, including income eligibility.

This bill would require the Department of Education to report to the Legislature and Department of Finance, by June 1, 2016, a plan for expanding the state preschool program to all eligible low-income children who do not have access to one year of state preschool or transitional kindergarten. The bill would require the report to contain an analysis of the need for new facilities for the state preschool program in order to provide access to all eligible children.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the
2Preschool for All Act of 2015.

3

SEC. 2.  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the
4following:

5(a) Recent reforms such as the common core state standards
6and the local control funding formula establish greater quality and
7equity in California’s public K-12 education system.

8(b) None of these reforms, however, address the reality that the
9achievement gap is present well before children first step through
10the kindergarten classroom door.

11(c) Recent research shows that by the age of two, low-income
12children are six months behind in language development relative
13to their higher income peers. By age five, low-income children are
14more than two years behind in language development.

15(d) Research shows that California children with the largest
16gaps in school readiness and achievement are the least likely to
17participate in any preschool and the least likely to attend
18high-quality programs.

19(e) Only one-half of California low-income preschoolers receive
20state preschool or federal Head Start services, and only one-quarter
21of all children attend transitional kindergarten.

22(f) Children who are not reading proficiently by the end of 3rd
23grade are four times more likely to not graduate from high school
24on time.

25(g) Only 48 percent of California 3rd graders test proficient or
26better in English-language arts.

27(h) More than 100 studies nationally have shown that
28high-quality preschool significantly improves children’s school
29readiness and school performance.

30(i) Numerous longitudinal studies show that high-quality
31preschool decreases grade retention and special education
32placements, and increases high school graduation rates, college
33enrollment, and earnings as adults as well as decreases costs in
34criminal justice and welfare.

35(j) In the 2014-15 annual Budget Act, the Legislature and
36Governor committed to providing all low-income children with at
37least one year of state preschool or transitional kindergarten.

P3    1(k) An independent research analysis of over 20 preschool
2programs demonstrated that quality preschool provides a return
3of $15,000 for every child served.

4(l) If California were to invest in high-quality preschool, the
5savings in the prison system alone are estimated to be $1.1 billion
6a year due to the reduction in prison population by 13,000.

7

SEC. 3.  

It is the intent of the Legislature that both of the
8following occur:

9(a) All low-income children have access to either a state
10preschool program or a transitional kindergarten.

11(b) Funds are allocated to expand the state preschool program
12to provide full day, full year preschool for all eligible low-income
13children who otherwise would not be served in either state
14preschool or transitional kindergarten.

15

SEC. 4.  

Section 8235.1 is added to the Education Code, to
16read:

17

8235.1.  

(a) By June 1, 2016, the department shall report to the
18Legislature and the Department of Finance a plan for expanding
19the state preschool program to all eligible low-income children
20who do not have access to one year of the preschool program or
21a transitional kindergarten program.

22(b) The department shall include in the report required pursuant
23to subdivision (a) an analysis of the need for new facilities for the
24state preschool program in order to provide access to all eligible
25children.

26(c) (1) The report required to be submitted to the Legislature
27pursuant to this section shall be submitted in compliance with
28Section 9795 of the Government Code.

29(2) This section is inoperative on June 1, 2020, pursuant to
30Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, and as of January 1,
312021 is repealed.



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