More than 8,300 additional children from low-income families around California will have access to high-quality preschool this year after The state Dept. of Education's recent distribution of $25 million in state “restoration” funds to 207 existing contractors for use at 516 sites. Each of the contractors will receive enough money to add a full classroom of 24 students, unless the request was for less funding, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced today.
The $25 million, included in the 2013-14 state budget, partially restores services for the part-day, part-year California State Preschool Program that has been cut by $122 million in recent years. State child development programs overall have been cut by about $1 billion.
“Everything from the economic downturn to federal sequestration has hit some of our most vulnerable families undeniably hard in recent years,” Torlakson said. “Our hope is that these funds can begin to remove some of the obstacles working families face by opening doors to high-quality preschool..." California is home to one out of every eight children in the America under the age of five.