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Back to July Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 246 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JULY 2006

Government-Run Preschool Rejected by California Voters

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California's Proposition 82 "Preschool for All" was rejected by 60.9% during the state's June 6th election. The ballot measure failed in all but two counties despite months of multimillion dollar campaigning and heavy lobbying by Hollywood activists as well as labor unions including the California Teachers Association.

Proposition 82 would have established free statewide government-regulated universal preschool for every 4-year-old in the state. The estimated $2.4 billion plan was to be funded by a 1.7% tax on incomes exceeding $400,000 for individuals or $800,000 for couples.

Hollywood director Rob Reiner led the charge in support of universal preschool. Reiner also chaired the state's First 5 California Children and Families Commission until his March 30th resignation. Prior to resigning, Reiner took a leave of absence following conflict of interest allegations due to his affiliation with the Commission and his activism promoting Prop 82.

The Commission spent $23 million in state funds for pro-preschool advertising during petition signature gathering; this prompted legislators to order an audit.

Prop 82 opponents criticized the measure for creating a "preschool bureaucracy" and having little to do with raising preschool enrollment. Anti-Prop 82 television commercials urged fixing the K-12 school system before entering the preschool arena.

Plans for more funds anyway 
On June 7, 2006, the day following California voter rejection of a state universal preschool plan, the Associated Press reported: "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger added $50 million to his proposed 2006-07 budget to expand California's existing preschool program to add more children in needy areas."


 
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