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Raising California Together Coalition Challenges Governor Brown to Aim Higher on Early Ed

The Raising California Together coalition released the following statement today from Co-Chair Tonia McMillian, a child care provider from Bellflower in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget proposal:

“Today’s budget proposal continues to send the wrong message to bright young minds who will shape our future: rather than aiming high to fight poverty and close the achievement gap, this budget provides no new access to quality child care for needy children. It offers no path for thousands of dedicated, inspiring, early educators to lift their families out of poverty and denies access to millions of parents who need early education and care to go to work. In a nutshell, this budget proposal includes no new money for early education and care and still does not restore the billions that were cut in previous budgets.

“California must do better than to allow the next generation to be divided into “haves” and “have-nots” before they even start kindergarten. Parents and early educators throughout California are standing together to demand California aim higher.

“Study after study shows that teacher pay and working conditions are directly linked with the quality of child care programs, so if we are really serious about providing the best early education and care possible, then we can’t continue to ignore our workforce. Unfortunately, the budget released today does nothing to increase poverty-level wages that early educators earn across settings.

“2016 is the year we will lay the groundwork for a strong early education system by ensuring that early educators earn at least $15 an hour, working families have access to affordable, flexible and quality early education and care, and affordable training options that will bring professional skills are provided to thousands of early educators across the state.

“I invite Governor Brown to work with the Raising California Together coalition to create a California where every child has access to the early learning and care that positions them for academic success and a strong future, where every parent who needs access to go to work can access it, and where everyone who works hard is paid enough to care for their own family.”

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