The defeat of the universal preschool initiative opens the door to better-designed proposals that target needy children, writes Sara Mead of Education Sector in the San Jose Mercury News. (I’m on vacation in Oregon, so I heard about the column on Eduwonk.)
Proposition 82’s supporters made a lot of promises: Universal preschool would close academic achievement gaps between poor and affluent students, improve California’s dismal public school performance and be a boon to the economy. A failure to deliver these promised results quickly would have had devastating consequences for the preschool movement, both in California and nationally.
California doesn’t have the infrastructure for a huge preschool expansion, Mead writes. For the future, she urges preschool backers to support a mix of programs to serve children with diverse needs.
I think there’s considerable support for expanding preschool opportunities for disadvantaged children, very little for subsidizing preschool for children from affluent families.