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New Budget Includes Provisions For Universal Pre-Kindergarten

Aaron Burden

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a state budget that includes a multi billion dollar proposal to fund Universal Pre-Kindergarten.

California has almost three million children under the age of five, but most don’t go to school before Kindergarten. Legislators hope that expanding preschool will help close achievement gaps and improve equity in early education.

The program aims to provide at least one year of “transitional kindergarten” to all four-year-olds in the state by the 2025-26 school year.

The bill promises to ensure quality by setting a target ratio of 10 students to every teacher.

The budget will fund grants to education providers so they can expandexisting pre-K programs. It also creates separate funds for teacher training and to help school districts construct and retrofit facilities.

Katherine Simpson is a teacher and journalist in the Bay Area. She's been working in public radio since 2018.