Top Lawmaker Pushes For Free Preschool In California

Straight Study

A top California lawmaker on Tuesday, January 7, is expected to unveil his proposal to make public preschool free for all children in the  most populous American state.

A Push for More Budget

The plan by US Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, to offer a pre-kindergarten program to four-year-olds in the western state comes as he and other legislators of his party try to push California Governor Jerry Brown to increase the allocation for state social services, including education, in next year’s budget.

Steinberg, along with other Democrat senators who support his plan, expects to introduce the legislation establishing the pre-kindergarten program this week, according to the senator’s spokesperson, Mark Hedlund.

Expand Existing Programs

The proposal is expected to include plans of expanding an existing program aimed at children who are turning five years old too late in the year to attend regular kindergarten. Other specifics about the bill such as the cost of the plan would be released during the week, Hedlund said.

Brown, who was governor of the state from 1975 to 1983, has toed a centrist line since taking the position back again in 2011. He has repeatedly warned progressive legislators not to overspend now that the state has its first real surplus in years.