FRESNO – At a Fresno elementary school on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law encouraging bilingual learners and improving access to child care. The governor also highlighted the California Comeback Plan’s unprecedented investments to achieve universal transitional kindergarten by 2025 and create college savings accounts for 3.7 million children.

“In California, we are committed to transforming our public schools to promote equity, inclusion and opportunity for every student,” Newsom said. “Building on this year’s historic budgetary investments in Universal Kindergarten and College Savings Accounts, these bills will improve access to a good education for children across California so that every child can live. thrive, regardless of race, home language or postal code. . “

The California Comeback Plan includes investments to turn public schools into gateways of opportunity. As part of Newsom’s $ 123.9 billion preschool and K-12 program, California will offer free, high-quality, and inclusive preschool for all four-year-olds, starting in 2022-2023 with full implementation expected by 2025. 26. The plan is also reducing class sizes, halving adult-to-child ratios with at least an average of one adult for 12 children, compared to one for 24 children.

The plan also invests $ 1.9 billion to create college savings accounts of up to $ 1,500 for 3.7 million current low-income students, English learners and youth in foster care. and homeless. In the future, these groups of students will have savings accounts seeded for them in their first year.

“We know from research and experience that the early years are essential in supporting a child’s learning and development. Universal Pre-K is California’s opportunity to ensure that every child, regardless of background, race, zip code, immigration status or income level, gets the right start they need and he deserves on the road to success, ”said Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Education. . “I am proud to have sponsored universal traditional knowledge legislation and to partner with the governor and the legislature to implement this major breakthrough.

“Every child deserves access to high quality early learning opportunities that will prepare them to thrive in Kindergarten and beyond. Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) is making it a reality, ”said Assembly Member Kevin McCarty. “High-quality early education prepares children for success in school, uplifts working families, narrows opportunities gaps and breaks cycles of intergenerational poverty. UTK is a huge win for California kids and families. Thank you Governor Newsom for your unwavering commitment to our youngest learners.

“I am delighted that California is making history by investing in our children, their education and their future. The inequality of wealth and the high cost of education have slammed the door to the promotion of low and middle incomes in our state, ”said Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian. “A children’s savings account provides more than just a financial asset, but hope and optimism. This funding is a real investment in the next generation of California entrepreneurs, scientists, educators and community leaders.

“As a woman of color, I am proud to represent a predominantly Latin and colored neighborhood,” said Luz Rivas, Assembly member, author of AB 1363. “Over 60% of California students come from a home where English is not the primary language, and today we are taking decisive action to strengthen the early learning opportunities of our bilingual students. With the governor’s signing of AB 1363, California once again leads national education policy by becoming the first state to create a standardized process that identifies and supports bilingual learners from Kindergarten to Kindergarten. Grade 12 from an early age. I want to thank Governor Newsom for reaffirming California’s commitment to equity and inclusion in its public education system, because every student deserves the chance to thrive in their environment. unique learning.

“Governor Newsom’s historic policies of promoting early learning for our youngest Californians are game-changing,” said Patricia Lozano, executive director of Early Edge California. “They are bringing California closer than ever to equity for all in education. From expanding Universal Pre-K to allocating resources for multilingual learners, Governor Newsom and the Legislature have led the charge to help all California students succeed in life.

Assembly Member Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) AB 1363 requires the Superintendent of Public Education to develop procedures for public preschool contractors to identify and report data on bilingual learners. SB 393 by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) aligns the Alternative Payment for Child Care Migrant Program with other voucher programs, improving access to child care for migrant farm workers. AB 1294 by Assembly Member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) Extends County Child Care Pilot Program for Santa Clara County to run for one year, until July 1, 2023 .

The California Comeback Plan also provides $ 10 million to expand immersion programs in both languages ​​and $ 300 million to increase the number of preschool or TK programs in the state and provide additional training for teachers in the state. kindergarten. It is investing $ 490 million to support the construction and renovation of preschool, TK and public kindergarten facilities. The plan will gradually put in place 200,000 new child care spaces by 2025-2026, significantly expanding access for families.

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