Despite the failure of Proposition 82 (the Preschool for All Act), the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) will continue to search for innovative and affordable ways to make preschool education available to students and their families who can't afford to pay for it.
The Preschool for All Act would have created a constitutional guarantee to a voluntary, free preschool program for all children during the year before they enter kindergarten.
"We remain steadfast in our commitment to quality preschool education for students," said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. "Research has shown that children who have attended quality preschool programs score higher in later years on standardized tests."
SCOE will continue its efforts to collaborate with public and private preschool programs to seek out affordable ways to deliver more early education opportunities for students. Proposition 82 would have required county superintendents to implement and administer preschool programs in their counties.
"We will continue to be diligent in pursuing innovative ways to deliver preschool for students in our county because the benefits for our children, families, taxpayers, and economy are too strong to ignore," said Superintendent Gordon.
"This [loss] is unfortunate because by failing to pass this initiative, we are failing this group of children," said Glenn Thomas, Executive Director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). "Quality private preschool programs are out of reach for many middle-class families, with costs rising higher and higher."
On April 27, 2005, the Sacramento County Board of Education passed a resolution in support of voluntary, quality preschool for all four-year-olds in California. Despite the failure of the initiative to pass, SCOE will continue to work with local agencies to develop programs that prepare children for success in school.
The county office strives to achieve the following goals by providing high-quality professional development to preschool administrators and teacher/leaders:
- Provide teachers with strategies for educating young English Learners and familiarize them with the research that informed those strategies
- Help teachers and administrators recognize the gifts and talents that preschool English Learners bring to their classrooms and programs
- Introduce the resource guide, "Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning"
SCOE is the lead agency administering a pilot preschool expansion model, the Preschool Bridging Model in the Elk Grove Unified School District, developed through a countywide leadership team that was facilitated and funded by First 5 Sacramento. SCOE also provides special education services for infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
SCOE additionally serves as the lead agency for the California Preschool Instructional Networks (CPIN) in the Sacramento region. CPIN was initiated during the 2003-04 school year by the California Department of Education (CDE). It is one of many efforts focused on helping all young children in California develop into eager, healthy, and prepared learners who can thrive and succeed in elementary school and beyond.
For more information about school readiness programs throughout Sacramento County, call (916) 228-2555.