Patt Morrison for May 23, 2006

Proposition 82 - Yes or No on Universal Preschool

Among the many decisions California voters will be making on June 6th is whether to create a constitutional right for Californian 4-year-olds to attend public preschool. Proposition 82 intends to create high quality preschools funded by a 1.7% tax increase on taxable incomes of over $400,000. Phil Halperin, president of the Silver Giving Foundation, joins Patt to explain why universal preschool better prepares children to perform in grade school and life at large. Lisa Snell, education director for the Reason Foundation, rounds out the debate with reasons why creating a new $2.5 billion a year program governed by the already overburdened state government may not serve California's children best.

North Korean Refugees Settle in the Southland

Six North Korean defectors fleeing poverty, torture, sexual slavery and other abuses arrived in Southern California over the weekend. They were the first North Korean refugees to arrive in the United States since President Bush signed the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004. Patt talks with Pastor Peter Sohn, president of the Korean Church Coalition and Pastor at Bethel Korean Church in Irvine and Los Angeles Times reporter Valerie Reitman, about the condition of the refugees and about their stories of life in North Korea.

Smart Kids in Southern California

California is home to the newly crowned national handwriting champion—Andre Cataluna, a 7th grader at St. Philomena School in Carson. For scripting words with the best slant, space, size, and shape Andre receives $1,500 in prizes, including t-shirts for his whole class. Andre puts down the pen to share some of cursives finer points with Patt. Also joining the conversation is Ryland Lu, an 8th grader at Pressman Academy. He is the California champion of the National Geographic Geography Bee.
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