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Date

The Honorable Kevin McCarty
California State Assembly
State Capitol, Room 2136
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 22 (McCarty) – SUPPORT

Dear Assemblymember McCarty:

[Name of Your Organization] supports AB 22 (McCarty), as amended on February 3, 2021, which would expand access to full-day transitional kindergarten (TK) to all four-year-olds statewide. By removing the birthday window requirement and opening TK to all four-year-olds, AB 22 provides universal access to high quality preschool through the public school system as recommended by the state’s bold, new Master Plan for Early Learning and Care.

AB 22 builds upon the existing TK program to phase in full-day, universal early learning by providing all four-year-olds with a free prekindergarten experience while making necessary quality improvements for their benefit.  Specifically, AB 22 would create a standard curriculum that bridges the gap between preschool and kindergarten by connecting the Preschool Learning Foundation standards to the kindergarten Common Core State Standards. Importantly, the bill would also lower teacher to student ratios, ensuring that teachers can meaningfully interact with each student and would require full-day programs to support working parents. Finally, the bill retains parent choice for those who feel their children’s or family needs are better met by the state preschool program.

Finally, by expanding TK, AB 22 will allow nearly $1 billion of state preschool program funds that are currently spent on four-year-olds to be used to improve access and quality of programs serving younger children. This will allow more low-income three-year-olds, infants, and toddlers to receive two years of quality early learning to prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.  A recent report by the American Institutes for Research shows that the need for care and education among this group is acute.

AB 22 will allow us to improve school readiness for all children in California by providing TK to all four-year-olds in mixed-income classrooms, which research shows benefits all students. It will increase access to high-quality early care and education for younger children by leveraging existing state resources. For these reasons, we strongly SUPPORT AB 22.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Title
Organization

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