Whereas, The governor’s proposed January 2012-13 budget calls for saving $517 million through the curtailment of early childhood education (ECE) by slashing program eligibility, lowering family income levels, and removing the enrollment in a course of study in higher education as a reason to be eligible for services, and recommendations for 2012-2014 include moving all except a fraction of ECE from the State Department of Education to the State Department of Social Services;
Whereas, These cuts and changes will disproportionately affect poor women and children seeking to raise themselves out of poverty, including those enrolling in campus-based child development centers and lab schools, resulting in the end of education for thousands of low-income women and a continuation of the cycle of poverty for them and their children;
Whereas, The early childhood care centers (often) serve as laboratory settings and provide hands-on training as early care and education providers, and further cuts will prevent early childhood/child development students, as well as psychology, nursing, and other related majors, from participating in essential lower division major preparation laboratory courses such as chemistry, auto technology, biology, and multimedia laboratories; and
Whereas, While it is estimated that between 62,000 and 80,000 child care and ECE slots will be cut throughout the state, the number is likely to be far higher as most agencies will not be able to absorb another 10% cut in the reimbursement rate, causing them to close;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support legislation and policy directives that protect California’s investment in ECE teacher education and preserve California’s half-century investment in college programs that prepare the early care and education workforce;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support ECE policy reform that occurs thoughtfully and deliberately, not solely within the budget process but through careful planning by all those impacted, and that identifies inefficiencies within state-funded programs without threat to the integrity of California’s quality early care and education system; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support legislation and policy directives that preserve families’ access to child care and education by doing the following:
- Preserve current eligibility for all low-income families, whether working or in higher education;
- Consider reforms to the delivery system that do not result in closure of programs providing quality child care and education, such as community college teacher preparation programs and early education centers and lab schools; and
- Preserve the practice that child development and early education funds remain in the Department of Education so that they can better provide optimal learning environments for California’s youngest learners.
MSC Disposition: Local Senates
Senate representatives will include principles noted in this resolution during their advocacy efforts.