SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Coalition for Equity in Early Care and Education and Lake Research Partners today released results from a statewide poll of California voters demonstrating wide support for using a portion of California's estimated $8 billion state budget surplus to increase funding for child development programs.
The coalition is asking Governor Jerry Brown and the leaders of the California Legislature to approve the $ 800 million budget plan of the California Legislative Women's Caucus.
Presently 236,000 children and their families are being priced out of high quality nonprofit programs; qualified but underpaid teachers and staff are unable to continue working in their chosen field, and estimated waiting lists for working parents top over 300,000.
Please see "Voices for Equity" below, and visit the following links for the statewide polling results:
Voices for Equity in California's Early Care and Education Programs:
"Voters think we need to do more than we are currently doing to ensure children enter kindergarten with the skills they need to do their best. A six in 10 majority favor increasing state funding to ensure that all children have access to quality programs, including a strong majority who favor even if it increased their taxes." Celinda Lake, Principal, Lake Research Partners
"The California Legislative Women's Caucus remains committed to prioritizing a strong investment in early care and education so children can learn and parents can work. An investment in our earliest learners is prudent, keeps Californians working and prevents costly academic interventions and consequences later on." Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) Chair, Ca. Legislative Women's Caucus
"We can stay within the pocketbook, invest more in people, be creative in our investment, and ensure that people are better taken care of so that they can contribute to our society and our tax base. Ultimately, this is about supporting individuals in becoming the best they can be. Our budget does not go far enough to nurture that. I challenge the Governor and my colleagues to do more of what he did with prison rehabilitation, extending that innovative rationale to children in early care and education, and on welfare." Senator Holly Mitchell
"Governor Brown needs to support the Legislative Women's Caucus' call for $800 million to save early childhood education. This is an easy choice and not one penny of taxes needs to be raised. If the Governor of Alabama can find $800 million to build prisons, our great Governor of California can find a way from surplus funds to provide $800 million to invest in our children's future." Ca. Congressman George Miller (ret.), past Chair, House Committee on Education and Labor, past Chair House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families
"State wide the California Early Care and Education community is united. We need to end the funding drought that has plagued nonprofit providers since the Great Recession." AssemblyMember Ted Lempert (ret.) President and CEO, Children Now
"Governor Brown and the Legislature need to save early childhood education. Budgeting $800 million to save early childhood education is a moral choice as well as a practical choice. Turning our backs on kids who are brimming with happiness and hope is like saying that 'Failure is OK, because we really don't care'. Governor Brown, Senators, and Assembly Members: you all need to care now. Save early childhood education." Mr. Santiago Ruiz- Co-Chair, Ca. Coalition for Equity in Early Care and Education
"California employers understand that investing early in children's education will pay huge economic and social dividends in the decades to come. Recent studies show that California's job market will be facing a deficit of over 1 million college graduates by 2030. The time to address that problem is right now and the way to do it is by investing in early education programs." Mr. Jim Wunderman, CEO, Bay Area Council
"Saving early childhood education programs is the smartest choice an elected official can make. Voters want investments in early childhood education, and they will remember who chose to care about the future of our youngest Californians and who chose to ignore them." Ms. Liz Burns, Community Action Marin
"I earned a college degree and chose a career in Early Childhood Education and now I'm barely making it in terms of food and shelter. I love my work, it's my calling. Yet I don't know how long I can continue doing this most rewarding work. Minds are most eager at the youngest ages. And the thirst for knowledge that children gain through early childhood education easily translates to success in life." Sally Swift, ECE teacher at a nonprofit agency serving low income families
"It is up to us to defend our children from the shortsightedness of the Sacramento Scrooges. The money that California invests in our children today will be money that won't have to be spent tomorrow to deal with dropouts, unemployment, or mass incarceration." Ana Sanchez- ECE working parent with a child enrolled at a nonprofit agency serving low income families
Contact: Jim Gonzalez, 916 233 8526
Celinda Lake, 202 776 9066
SOURCE The California Coalition for Equity in Early Care and Education