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Over 350 California Organizations Urge Governor to Support Early Childhood Funding

Major Business, Education, Health, Parent, Law Enforcement, Faith and Community Groups Unite Around Joint Budget Request

June 16, 2015

OAKLAND, CA — As Governor Brown prepares to make his final decisions on the 2015-16 state budget, over 350 diverse organizations from across the state have sent a joint letter urging him to invest in quality early childhood programs. This unprecedented and powerful group of organizations, ranging from major regional business associations to United Ways to K-12 to law enforcement groups, are united in asking the Administration to prioritize the state’s youngest kids in this year’s budget.

California’s early care and education programs have faced $1 billion in cuts since 2008, impacting tens of thousands of families. The Legislature approved a package yesterday with an additional $409 million in funding for early education, a significant investment toward rebuilding California’s system.

“The unified message these groups are sending is that our youngest children must be a top priority,” said Children Now President Ted Lempert. “High-quality child care and preschool programs yield tremendous long-term benefits for kids’ academic achievement and our state’s future, as well as addressing immediate issues of poverty by enabling parents to work. We now look to the Governor to affirm that he’s heard the message and will do the right thing by keeping this funding in the final budget.”

Studies show that access to high-quality early care and education programs significantly narrows the school-readiness gap, reduces high school dropout rates and creates overall savings by reducing the need for special education, public assistance and criminal justice interventions.

“We appreciate the Governor saying the state can’t fund every important program,” said Lempert. “But the reason this issue generates such broad-based support is that quality early childhood programs are the smartest investments our state can make.”

The Legislature passed a budget yesterday to meet the constitutional deadline. Governor Brown has until June 30 to sign the final budget, and also has the discretion to make line-item vetoes.

 

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Children Now is the leading nonpartisan umbrella research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health, education, and child welfare in California and creating national media policies that support child development. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a grassroots network of more than 1,150 business, education, parent, civil rights, and faith-, community-, and ethnic-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, that want to see children prioritized in public policymaking. Learn more about us at www.childrennow.org.

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