Raising California Together Coalition Challenges Governor Brown to Be Bold; Keep Promises to Kids
Raising California Together released the following statement today from Raising California Together coalition Co-Chairs Tonia McMillian and El Cerrito Mayor Mark Friedman in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget proposal. Raising California Together is a broad coalition of child care providers, agencies, parents, educators, clergy and interfaith networks, unions, small businesses, women’s and children’s advocates, community groups, and public health organizations united to press for local, state, and national policy solutions to increase access to quality child care and early learning choices.
“Instead of a fiscally responsible approach that helps California weather the ups and downs of the economy, this budget keeps low-income working families struggling to sustain work, keeps their children at a disadvantage as they head to school, and keeps the child care providers who are the key to their future, stuck in a long-term downturn. So while it’s great to see investments in this budget to our physical infrastructure, it needs to be matched with the same level of commitment to our human infrastructure.
“Along with new increases in K-12 student funding; California’s children need Governor Brown to be bold in making investments in years 0-3, when research shows early learning is essential for school readiness and future success.
“In 2013, Governor Brown signed one of the highest statewide minimum wage in the nation; California’s families need Governor Brown to be just as bold in ensuring they can access child care that enables them to hold onto their jobs. The child care providers who struggle to serve low-income families while their own wages average $4.98 an hour need the Governor to be bold in addressing their own poverty crisis.
“In place of the budget’s claim that California provides ‘extensive’ support to children up to age 13, our next generation of workers and taxpayers need our state to be bold in making this promise a reality. For the one-million low income children who lack access to early childhood learning opportunities, their families, and their child care providers, this budget offers little hope and minimal investment.
“Failing to invest in our kids now is stealing from their – and California’s future. We invite Governor Brown to work with the Raising California Together coalition to strengthen and invest in early learning opportunities that return a positive investment for our state in academic achievement and economic growth.”