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Universal Preschool News

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In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit often for the latest preschool news.

Slideshow: As California advocates look to expand pre-K, Denmark shows how universal preschool works KPCC's Early Childhood Correspondent Deepa Fernandes visited Denmark and Norway recently and talked to parents and educators about their countries' free and subsidized child care. Support for universal preschool is spreading around the country, but relatively few places have set up systems where all kids from infants to 5-year-olds can attend child care. That's not the case in Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark where early child care for all has been around for decades and is taken for granted by taxpayers. by Matt Rogers July 7, 2015 [More Results from scpr.org]
Maine May Be Next State To Offer Universal Preschool While President Obama's proposal to make preschool universally accessible is being pushed on the federal level, six states in the country - Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, New York, and West Virginia - are already working on such plans. The state legislature is dominated by Democrats in both houses, but the biggest hurdle will be getting Gov. Paul LePage (R) on board. Education Week pointed out that in the past he has been in favor of privatization and most interested in funding for grades 1-3. by Bryce Covert May 23, 2013 [More Results from thinkprogress.org]
Study: Diet May Help ADHD Kids More Than Drugs Audio Report: Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be restless, impulsive, inattentive and difficult to handle. Many are treated with drugs, but a new study suggests that food may be the key. Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, writes in The Lancet that the disorder is triggered in many cases by external factors - and those can be treated through changes to one's environment. "ADHD, it's just a couple of symptoms - it's not a disease," the Dutch researcher tells All Things Considered weekend host Guy Raz. by NPR Staff March 15, 2011 [More Results from npr.org]
Four-year-old Graduates Celebrate at Wunsche Eighteen four-year-old students in the Early Learning Academy (ELA) at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School donned caps and gowns recently and walked into their graduation ceremony with as much pomp as a group of four-year-olds can muster. "These four-year-olds will be very well-prepared to start kindergarten next year," said Kay Hall, ELA director. It is a licensed childcare facility and an on-site laboratory school where high school students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Wunsche can observe and work with young children. May 30, 2008 [More Results from Spring ISD]
Tangle of Funds Perplexes Preschool Providers Funding for California preschool programs is dizzyingly complex, with money flowing from numerous state grants, each with their own restrictions, requirements and a mountain of paperwork. Preschool providers find it logistically difficult to weave different funds together, a recognized way to create income-integrated preschools like Poway Unified's, which delivers services to kids across the economic spectrum. by Emily Alpert March 28, 2008 [More Results from Voice of San Diego (CA)]
Let children be children | Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected? We've just finished test time again in the schools of California. The mad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second grade through high school. For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See principle. And any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why. by Penelope H. Bevan June 13, 2007 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
Plug of war Conversations on the ins and outs of pacifiers can get contentious The pacifier. Despite its name, the small plastic plug seems to rile up controversy rather than calm it. Aside from breast-feeding and circumcision, few other topics can get parents, grandparents, pediatricians and child experts so stirred up that a timeout may be in order. by Jennifer Davies May 19, 2007 [More Results from The Union Tribune (CA)]
Lawmakers quietly considering universal preschool After California's voters last June defeated a $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, Proposition 82, the issue of early education seemed dead. But reports of its demise have proved premature. The debate over how much to spend on pre-K and for which kids is now in the hands of the state politicians, and the issue will resurface this week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger releases his revised 2008 budget. by David L. Kirp May 7, 2007 [More Results from San Jose Mercury News (CA)]
Getting a head start Kerrville Independent School District has introduced Handwriting Without Tears, a program that teaches students top-down and left-to-right formations, capital letters and letter recognition with wooden pieces. Diane Flynn Keith, founder of Universal Preschool, an advocacy group designed to protect parents' rights to determine educational choices for their children, said pre-schoolers learn best when they are permitted to explore and follow their own interests. by Alison Beshur December 21, 2006 [More Results from Universal Preschool]
Parents struggle with daycare Most working parents with preschoolers at home see the morning day-care dropoff as more of a necessity than a choice. In a survey by the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, more than 80 percent of parents said the primary reason for seeking child care is that they have to work. December 8, 2006 [More Results from Financial Express]
Preschool Pros and Cons Melanie Bailey of Bossier City, La., has a background in preschool & kindergarten education, so sending her daughters to preschool was not an automatic decision for her. She already knew they would be academically ready, so it was just the social aspect she had to consider. "Up until just recently, I was a stay-at-home mom so my kids never experienced the social factors of a daycare setting," says Bailey. "Academically I wasn't worried about them, [but] I can imagine that kindergarten would be overwhelming for a child that has never attended a preschool program. by Kelly Burgess August 29, 2006 [More Results from Preschoolers Today]
Proposition 82 / Preschool supporters aren't giving up on their quest Preschool advocates plan to continue fighting to increase quality and expand access to preschool, they said Wednesday, despite the resounding defeat of Proposition 82. In 13 counties, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Los Angeles, advocates already are implementing publicly funded preschool, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed $100 million in next year's budget to increase preschool opportunities for 4-year-olds from low-income families. "We're in this for the long haul ... and we'll work locally and at the state level," said Maryann O'Sullivan, founder of Preschool California, an advocacy group. "People are very committed and saying we need another strategy." by Janine DeFao June 8, 2006 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
Voters reject Prop. 82 California voters soundly rejected Proposition 82 on Tuesday, crushing the hopes of early-childhood education advocates who hoped to make universal preschool public policy in the nation's most populous state. Though Proposition 82 enjoyed support in staunchly liberal enclaves like San Francisco, it was overwhelmingly rejected in the Central Valley, Orange County and other parts of the state. Reiner and his campaign aides overestimated the breadth of their support -- and misjudged the depth of the opposition's. by Dana Hull June 7, 2006 [More Results from The Mercury News (CA)]
Voters reject Prop. 82 California voters soundly rejected Proposition 82 Tuesday, crushing the hopes of early childhood education advocates who hoped to make universal preschool public policy in the nation's most populous state. Throughout much of the evening, returns showed that 60 percent of voters statewide opposed Prop. 82 while just 40 percent supported it, making it nearly impossible for the measure to ever get the simple majority it needed to pass. "It doesn't look good," admitted Hollywood director Rob Reiner, who spoke to about 200 supporters at a Los Angeles hotel ballroom shortly after 10 p.m. But he vowed to fight on, saying that the push for universal preschool would not go away. "This is important, and if it is not today the train has left the station." by Dana Hull June 7, 2006 [More Results from The Mercury News (CA)]
Prop 82: No, no, no If ever a political matter illustrated the proverbial wisdom that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, it is Proposition 82. Rob Reiner's "free preschool for all" initiative stems from the filmmaker-activist's sincere concern that many poor children's lack of early intellectual development dooms them to substandard lives. But Reiner came to believe his altruism was all that mattered - that in pursuing his crusade, he had no responsibility to forge wise public policy or to behave in ethical fashion. June 5, 2006 [More Results from The San Diego Union-Tribune (CA)]
Preschool for All by Tricia Shore The California crowd, a generally insecure lot who so worries their pretty heads about whether their infant is reading a Baby Einstein flashcard more quickly than their neighbor's, tends to take preschool pretty darn seriously. Private preschools and kindergartens and such can run you $20,000 per year easily. You are often judged as a parent based on your child's preschool. Yes, the preschool. People have every right to do this, of course. I've heard many moms tell me that they dropped their three-year-old off at preschool with the little one crying for mommy not to leave. "But I had to," one mother dramatically said, "It's for his own good!" At three' That particular mother spoke two languages and yet, she evidently found it beyond her reach to think about teaching her own child the alphabet of either language. Or anything else. by Tricia Shore June 5, 2006 [More Results from LewRockwell (CA)]
No on Proposition 82 Preschool initiative amounts to welfare for middle-class parents. Voters in the June 6 primary should vote "no" on Prop. 82 and let parents meet their own obligations without subsidies. Proponents of Proposition 82 want the state to do what parents should: care for their children. The most fiscally dangerous political initiative to emerge from Hollywood director Rob Reiner's rather generous cranium in recent years seeks to pay for the preschool education of every child " even those whose parents can afford it on their own. April 30, 2006 [More Results from Press-Telegram]
Disingenuous ploy: Reiner should stop hiding behind 'the kids' Perhaps the most tiresome Stupid Politician Trick of all is when someone under fire declares that the real goal of his critics is to try to hurt the weak and powerless folks he protects. This defense is so common that it's become a cliche: "I'm just trying to help the kids," said Sen. For-Sale Smith as he downplayed the $10 million that mysteriously turned up in his bank account. March 18, 2006 [More Results from The San Diego Union-Tribune (CA)]
Ohio Infant & Toddler Guidelines Unveiled COLUMBUS -- A leadership team of private and public organizations this week unveiled developmental guidelines for Ohio's youngest children, from birth to age three. The "birth announcement" was held at COSI in Columbus and included remarks by Ohio First Lady Hope Taft. Designed to assist parents, providers and policy makers, the Guidelines include the following developmental domains and include best practices in the areas of: health, emotional, social, motor, language/communication and cognitive. by Alicia Leatherman March 12, 2006 [More Results from PR Newswire (CA)]
The Reiner rip-off: Taxpayer-funded push for initiative reeks It's hard to fathom how a Hollywood actor-director-activist with a reputation for caring about children could make the transition to sleazy pol so quickly, but that's just what Rob Reiner has done. His role in orchestrating the use of millions in taxpayer money to push his latest cause is beyond slimy and way past arrogant... There's talk of seeking a state Fair Political Practices Commission investigation of this mess, but that doesn't go far enough. Attorney General Bill Lockyer, come on down. A slap on the wrist is not sufficient. The use of $23 million in public funds for a personal crusade merits a criminal investigation. February 23, 2006 [More Results from The San Diego Union-Tribune (CA)]
Should California pay for preschool? In June, Californians will vote on a proposal to offer three hours a day of free preschool to every 4-year-old in the state by 2010 -- paid for by a new tax on the state's highest-earning residents. Proponents of Proposition 82, also known as the Preschool for All Act, say preschool is a sound investment, citing research showing that children who attend preschool are more likely to avoid repeating a grade, graduate from high school and steer clear of crime. Opponents say a new government-run preschool system is destined to be a costly bureaucratic disaster. by Dana Hull February 12, 2006 [More Results from The Mercury News (CA)]
CALIFORNIA / UC study examines preschool benefits / By third grade, no difference shown among students As proponents of universal preschool in California kicked off their campaign with news of an upbeat poll, a study on the lasting effects of preschool indicates many of its benefits may wear off by the time students reach third grade. The University of California study, parts of which will be released today at a Sacramento conference, focuses on non-English-speaking children who went to preschool. Students who had gone to preschool gained a head start on literacy and language skills that gave them a leg up through third grade, according to the study by UC Santa Barbara professor Russell Rumberger, director of the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute. by Ilene Lelchuk January 28, 2006 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
Preschool funding plan on ballot Friends and foes of Rob Reiner's "Preschool for All" initiative got word from the secretary of state's office late Thursday afternoon that the initiative has qualified for the June 2006 ballot. The measure proposes taxing the state's wealthiest residents to provide a year of free preschool to California 4-year-olds. The issue promises to be one of the most heated of the coming election season. by Dana Hull January 13, 2006 [More Results from The Mercury News (CA)]
Taxpayer Groups Demand That Rob Reiner Stop All Taxpayer-Funded First 5 Preschool Ads SACRAMENTO -- Taxpayer groups today demanded that the taxpayer-funded First 5 ads currently airing statewide on radio, TV and in major newspapers be pulled immediately. It is illegal to use taxpayer funds to support political campaigns and ballot initiatives. The $18 million dollar ad campaign airing now and paid for with taxpayer dollars emphasizes the purported benefits of preschool. January 12, 2006 [More Results from PR Newswire (CA)]
Preschool ads draw fire from critics SACRAMENTO - Two television ads tell Californians that children who go to preschool are more likely to graduate from college. A radio spot describes a 4-year-old named Amy who is helping to improve the economy and fight crime simply by attending preschool To most Californians, the ads may seem little more than public service announcements encouraging parents to send their young children to preschool. But to opponents of actor-director Rob Reiner's pending $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, the spots feel more like taxpayer-financed political advocacy that primes voters for the June election. They criticize the fact that Reiner chairs the state commission paying for the ads and also leads the initiative campaign that may benefit by its message. by Kevin Yamamura December 23, 2005 [More Results from Contra Costa Times (CA)]