AirTalk for January 8, 2013

Should California expand universal pre-K?

Transitional Kindergarten - 3

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Marvin Curiel, an assistant teacher, leads a group of students in the transitional kindergarten program at the Martha Escutia Primary Center.

Democrats in the California Senate introduced legislation on Tuesday that would fund public preschool for children in the state. The proposal, backed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, builds on the transitional kindergarten program that came into effect under the 2010 law that required children to be over the age of five when they enrolled in kindergarten.

Senate Bill 837 would increase the number of kids in the transitional kindergarten by almost triple, to 350,000, and would certainly be costly - current estimates predict that the program would cost $198 million annually, and would reach almost $1 billion by 2019. Is this plan the most cost effective way to offer public kindergarten in the state of California? How will legislator’s find the funds for the bill, and is it worth the extra expenditure? Or are the kids of California getting a service they don’t need?

Guest: 

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-6th District (most of Sacramento County). He introduced the bill yesterday

Tim Donnelly,  State Assemblyman, R-33rd District (including Apple Valley, Big Bear Lake and Victorville) and gubernatorial candidate

 


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