California · Education · Fresno

Newsom returns to Fresno to sign early childhood development bills

One month after vanquishing the state’s second recall, Gov. Gavin Newsom returned to the San Joaquin Valley for a bill signing aimed at heavy spending for early childhood education.

At Fresno’s Sunset Elementary School, flanked by California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer, Asm. Joaquin Arambula (D–Fresno), Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Sanger), and Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson, Newsom signed three bills related to early childhood schooling.

Assembly Bill 1363, authored by Asm. Luz Rivas (D–Arleta), requires Thurmond’s office to develop a process for state preschools to identify and report data on dual language learners.

Senate Bill 393, drafted by Hurtado, brings the state’s Migrant Child Cair Alternative Payment program into conformity with other childcare voucher programs with an eye toward improving access to child care for migrant farmworkers in rural California.

Lastly, Assembly Bill 1294 by Asm. Bill Quirk (D–Hayward) extended Santa Clara County’s child care pilot program for an additional year.

The three bills are part of a larger, sweeping early childhood spending proposal tabbed at $123.9 billion.

The plan allows all California kids aged 4-years-old to attend Pre-Kindergarten programs for free beginning 2022-2023.

It also dedicates $1.9 billion for college savings accounts for low-income Californians, English learners, foster and homeless youth and adds $10 million to state education funding for dual language immersion programs.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.