First 5 seeks business to sponsor pre-kindergarten academies – Daily Republic

By Barry Eberling

First 5 Solano is seeking businesses that will donate at least $200 each to send children who have never attended preschool to pre-kindergarten academies.

Each tax-deductible $200 donation is matched by First 5 Solano to fund one seat in the summer preschool program. Last year, 35 businesses raised $13,500, with some donating as much as $1,000 to sponsor five children, a First 5 Solano press release said.

via First 5 seeks business to sponsor pre-kindergarten academies Daily Republic.

Value of early education questioned at House committee hearing | EdSource Today

By Lillian Mongeau

House Republicans questioned the need for new early education programs and asked if the research showing the benefits of preschool has been oversold Tuesday at a Workforce and Education Committee hearing on early childhood programs.

“Serious questions remain as to whether these programs are producing positive results for the children they serve,” said committee chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., at the hearing.

President Barack Obama first proposed a new federal grant program to help states establish or expand publicly funded preschool programs in his 2013 State of the Union Address. He renewed that call in his 2014 address. A bill, called the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which codifies the president’s proposal, was introduced in both houses in November. When the bill was first announced, Kline promised he would hold hearings on early childhood programs, though not the bill specifically, in early 2014. Tuesday’s hearing was the first.

via Value of early education questioned at House committee hearing | EdSource Today.

Obama Sells Race to Top, Early-Childhood Education in State of the Union – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

President Barack Obama placed education at the center of a broad strategy to bolster economic mobility and combat poverty—calling on Congress in his State of the Union speech to approve previously unveiled initiatives to expand preschool to more 4-year-olds, beef up job-training programs, and make post-secondary education more effective and accessible.

“Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old,” said Obama, whose education agenda in his second term has shifted away from K-12 toward prekindergarten and college affordability. “As a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight. But in the meantime, 30 states have raised pre-K funding on their own. They know we cant wait.”

via Obama Sells Race to Top, Early-Childhood Education in State of the Union – Politics K-12 – Education Week.

Head Start funding partially restored in federal budget deal | EdSource Today

By Jane Meredith Adams and Lillian Mongeau

Head Start received a reprieve Tuesday under the new Congressional budget agreement that would restore some, if not most, of the funding cut from the national child care program last spring.

Head Start lost about 57,000 slots for children, including more than 5,600 in California, because of cuts under federal sequestration, a program of automatically triggered, across-the-board spending cuts. These cuts have continued to ripple through Head Start operations month by month as they cycle through their federal grant processes.

via Head Start funding partially restored in federal budget deal | EdSource Today.

Hillary Clinton Champions Early-Childhood Education in New Campaign – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

An Education Week headline reads: “Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton Makes Early-Childhood Education Campaign Centerpiece”

Okay, fine, we don’t really have a crystal ball here at Politics K-12. And it’s an open question whether the former first-lady-turned-senator-turned-secretary-of-state is even running for president. (Plus, you know, we’ve still got three years of the Obama administration left.) But it’s hard to deny that since leaving the Obama administration, Clinton has turned back to a longheld interest of hers: early-childhood education.

via Hillary Clinton Champions Early-Childhood Education in New Campaign – Politics K-12 – Education Week.

Obesity Rate Drops Among Low-Income Preschoolers – Education Week

By guest blogger Christina A. Samuels

After decades of increases, the obesity rate among young, low-income children showed a decline in 19 states, according to information released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The findings came from weight and height data collected in 2008-2011 from about 11.6 million low-income children ages 2 to 4 who live in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories. The states and territories participated in a monitoring system called the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System.

via Obesity Rate Drops Among Low-Income Preschoolers – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

Benicia Pre-K summer academy wraps up – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes/Times-Herald staff writer

BENICIA — Wednesday marked the final day of class for Benicia’s youngest children, and Solano County Superintendent Jay Speck had a treat for the class.

But only if they could answer three important questions.

“What’s the most important thing to learn?” Speck asked the group of 24 students at Robert Semple Elementary School.

via Benicia Pre-K summer academy wraps up – Vallejo Times Herald.

Backpack giveaway for pre-K kids Wednesday | The Benicia Herald

By Donna Beth Weilenman

Staff Reporter

The 24 children enrolled in the Robert Semple Elementary School pre-kindergarten Summer Academy will have visitors Wednesday. And those visitors are bringing backpacks full of school supplies, said June Regis, program manager of Child Care Programs and Adult Education.

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck and Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Janice Adams will visit the classroom, Regis said, and may observe the pupils at work, speak with teachers and possibly read a story to the children.

via Backpack giveaway for pre-K kids Wednesday | The Benicia Herald.

Strong bipartisan support for public preschool, new poll suggests | EdSource Today

By 

A new poll released Wednesday suggests broad bipartisan support exists for federally funded public preschool.

The poll, commissioned by the early education advocacy group First Five Years Fund, found that 50 percent of the 800 registered voters polled nationwide said they “strongly” support President Barack Obama’s $75 billion proposal to expand public preschool offerings by raising the federal tobacco tax. Another 20 percent said they “somewhat” support it.

via Strong bipartisan support for public preschool, new poll suggests | EdSource Today.

Pre-Kindergarten Academy gives kids a leg-up on school – Daily Republic

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD — About 25 children, ages 4 and 5, sat in a Sheldon Elementary School classroom learning their letters on a day that featured “S” and Sammy the Snake.

“I’m a special snake who loves to sings solos,” teacher Mary Ann Michelon read from a book. “Sometimes I’m silly.”

The children had embarked on a four-week push to get ready for kindergarten.

via Pre-Kindergarten Academy gives kids a leg-up on school Daily Republic.

Obama Stumps for Education Spending, Pre-K – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

President Barack Obama used a high-profile speech on the nation’s economic future today to bolster his administration’s case for investing in education programs. This will be a hot issue as Congress crafts the spending bills for fiscal year 2014, which starts on Oct. 1. Those spending bills will give lawmakers an opportunity to stop “sequestration”—a series of across-the-board cuts to federal education spending slated to go into effect.

“If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century,” the president said in prepared remarks released in advance of the speech at Knox College in Illinois. “If we don’t make this investment, we’ll put our kids, our workers, and our country at a competitive disadvantage for decades.”

via Obama Stumps for Education Spending, Pre-K – Politics K-12 – Education Week.

Duncan: Bipartisan support elusive for Obama’s proposal to expand preschool | EdSource Today

By Lillian Mongeau

Securing bipartisan support for the president’s $75 billion proposal to expand public preschool continues to be a challenge, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Wednesday on a media panel on early childhood education moderated by EdSource Today reporter Lillian Mongeau.

Duncan said he is meeting with Republican lawmakers as well as Republican governors and local school boards in an effort to convince conservatives that spending on the $75 billion plan is an investment that will pay dividends. The program, paid in part through an increase on the federal tobacco tax, would allow states to provide more preschool options for low-income families.

via Duncan: Bipartisan support elusive for Obama’s proposal to expand preschool | EdSource Today.

Senate Panel Approves Big Early-Childhood Education Boost – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

President Barack Obama’s high-profile push to expand prekindergarten programs got a big assist from a Senate Appropriations panel today. The panel, which is controlled by Democrats, approved a $1.6 billion increase for Head Start—the main federal program financing early-childhood education—plus $750 million in new money to help states bolster the quality of their preschool programs.

via Senate Panel Approves Big Early-Childhood Education Boost – Politics K-12 – Education Week.

Business, military signal strong support for public preschool, but Republican lawmakers unswayed | EdSource Today

By 

Early childhood education advocates are working to make it clear that not everyone supporting President Barack Obama’s proposal to vastly expand federal funding for preschool and infant and toddler care is a tax-and-spend liberal.

“This has become a bipartisan issue in the real world,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said recently in a sound bite that has become standard language in his stump speech for the president’s proposal to invest $75 billion over the next decade for states wishing to create or expand public preschool for 4-year-olds and early care for infants and toddlers.

Business, military signal strong support for public preschool, but Republican lawmakers unswayed | EdSource Today.

EdSource Today: Early childhood advocates cheered by $55M in restored funding

By 

Child care and early education advocates were pleased to see $55 million restored for state preschool and child care programs in the budget compromise working its way to the governor’s desk.

“It’s a start,” said Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, who has pushed for several measures aimed at expanding and improving early childhood programs in the state. “We’re not doing as much as we hoped, but we are beginning to see dollars directed back into preschool and early child care.”

Early childhood advocates cheered by $55M in restored funding | EdSource Today.

EdSource Today: California could get $350 million for preschool under federal proposal

By 

California could nearly double its spending on public preschool with an influx of federal funding if the president’s proposal to significantly increase the money available for early childhood programs passes Congress, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday.

Since President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in January, early learning has become the centerpiece of the administration’s education policy agenda. The president has proposed a federal program, funded by an increased tobacco tax, that would partner with states to expand access to and quality of public preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 4-year-olds. The program would also provide funding for expanded infant and toddler care. Both initiatives would cost $75 billion in new early learning funds over the next decade.

via California could get $350 million for preschool under federal proposal – by Lillian Mongeau.

EdSource Today: California Head Start teachers lag behind national average in earning bachelor’s degrees

Sixty-two percent of Head Start teachers nationwide now hold a bachelor’s degree, surpassing a federal guideline calling for at least half of the teachers to hold the advanced degree by this fall, according to a brief by the New America Foundation released earlier this month.

In California, only 48 percent of Head Start teachers have met that bar, according to the California Head Start Association.

via California Head Start teachers lag behind national average in earning bachelor’s degrees – by Lillian Mongeau.

Daily Republic: Solano EDC breakfast focuses on children

FAIRFIELD — First 5 Solano made a pitch to the business community on Wednesday concerning the county’s youth.

The group hosted the Solano Economic Development Corp. breakfast. It asked businesses and individuals to sponsor sending children to pre-kindergarten academies this summer.

“Today, our goal is really to pique your interest and get your commitment on behalf of Solano County’s youngest citizens,” Solano County Supervisor Linda Seifert told the gathering at the Hilton Garden Inn.

via Solano EDC breakfast focuses on children.

EdSource Today: Early education advocates disappointed with governor’s revised budget

By 

Early education advocates in California were hoping for increases in preschool and child care funding in the governor’s revised budget, released Tuesday. No such luck.

“The governor talks a lot about educational equity and equality of opportunity,” said Scott Moore, policy analyst for the early education advocacy group Early Edge California. “He is really missing the boat when it comes to preschool.”

via Early education advocates disappointed with governor’s revised budget – by Lillian Mongeau.

Education Week: Doctors Deviate From Guidelines When Treating ADHD in Preschoolers

In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines on how doctors should treat preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The first step should be parent and/or teacher-administered behavioral therapy. If symptoms continue, the next step is medication with methylphenidate, better known under the brand names Ritalin or Concerta.

But only about 10 percent of medical specialists responding to a survey on their treatment methods said that they followed those guidelines exactly. Many chose medication as a first-line treatment; others chose to prescribe different types of medication, or refused to prescribe drugs even when behavioral therapy was not showing success.

via Doctors Deviate From Guidelines When Treating ADHD in Preschoolers.