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Expanded Preschool Bills May Not Mean Much Here

Preschool access would be greatly expanded, under a package of bills being introduced at the State Capitol this week. It would apply to all low-income four-year-olds and more three-year-olds. But Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, Scott Lay, says it may not help that much here. He says children would be eligible only in areas where at least 70-percent qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program. He says only around 54-percent qualify at most local schools. But he says it’s a great proposal, overall, as long as it’s fully funded…

click to listen to Scott Lay

The legislation includes about two-billion dollars in state funding. It also includes money for preschool construction and increases teacher pay….

click to listen to Scott Lay

Supporters of the legislation say 70-percent of young mothers are in the workforce, but 35-percent of them leave after having children, because they can’t afford childcare or preschool. Early childhood education has been linked to a number of positive outcomes, including higher paying jobs and lower incarceration levels.

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