Incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom to Propose Almost $2 Billion for Early Childhood Programs
Seeking to frame his new administration as one with a firm focus on closing the gap between children from affluent and poor families, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose spending some $1.8 billion on an array of programs designed to boost California’s enrollment in early education and child-care programs.
Newsom’s plan, which he hinted at in a Fresno event last month, will be a key element in the state budget proposal he submits to the Legislature shortly after taking office Monday, a source close to the governor-elect’s transition team said Tuesday.
The spending would boost programs designed to ensure children enter kindergarten prepared to learn, closing what some researchers have called the “readiness gap” that exists based on a family’s income. It would also phase in an expansion of prekindergarten, and offer money to help school districts that don’t have facilities for full-day kindergarten.
“The fact that he’s making significant investments with his opening budget is really exciting,” Ted Lempert, president of the Bay Area-based nonprofit Children Now, said Tuesday. “What’s exciting is the comprehensiveness of it, because it’s saying we’re going to focus on prenatal through age 5.”
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