Release of "California's Preschool Space Challenge"
Though the Preschool for All statewide initiative was defeated by California voters last year, there remains strong public support for making preschool more widely accessible to California's children. The initiative has also fueled ongoing discussions in Sacramento and elsewhere about how best to meet this goal.
Missing from many of these discussions, however, is an analysis of whether the state has sufficient physical facilities required to house the preschoolers it aims to serve. This report, the first comprehensive examination of California's preschool space challenge, answers this question. Whether preschool is envisioned as universal or as targeted, whether the impetus comes from an initiative, the Legislature, the Governor or elsewhere, decision-makers will face the same reality: A preschool program cannot be offered where there is no space in which to house it. This report analyzes where preschool-suitable space is plentiful in California and where it is not.
This study examines space availability under two possible scenarios: "Preschool for All," in which preschool is made universally available to California's 4-year-olds by 2010-11; and "Targeted Preschool," which makes preschool available to children in low-performing schools (schools with 2005 Academic Performance scores in the 1st and 2nd deciles).
The report will be released to the public at 10:00 am on February 15th, 2007.