California hosts White House in early education celebration
Members of the White House recently visited California for “Children: The Bay Area’s Greatest Investment,” a Town Hall in San Francisco that celebrated the state’s recent education successes. The event encouraged participants to recommit to doing more for California’s littlest learners.
The San Francisco gathering was one of six held across the United States by the White House aimed to highlight and support President Obama’s early education agenda, including enrolling 6 million low-income kids in preschool by 2020. The event was co-hosted by Early Edge California.
The Obama administration has played a significant role in building momentum for early childhood education by placing it at the top of President Obama’s list of domestic priorities, including Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, and Preschool Development Grants– to name a few.
San Francisco was chosen to host the event because of First 5 San Francisco’s innovative Preschool for All program and its model of what is possible for early childhood education.
U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, the Town Hall’s keynote speaker declared, “Early education is an idea whose time has come.”
Under California’s leadership of State Senator Darrell Steinberg, former Assembly Speaker John Perez and the Legislative Women’s Caucus, early learning is a major focus of the Legislature this session and the largest investment in over a decade was dedicated to early education and development: $273 million.
The urgency and commitment not only by the President, but also the leaders in California, is really promising for the state’s children. I love hearing about the unwavering dedication to our future innovators and leaders. As a country, I believe we are on the cusp of making some really great education strides, beginning with our youngest learners.