Contra Costa Times editorial: School age reform is a good idea for California students

04.16.2010 | Contra Costa Times

With an ongoing budget crisis in Sacramento, fueled by a weak state economy, it would be nice if a way could be found to reduce state spending on education while actually improving it. Such a goal might appear to be contradictory, but a bill by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, shows otherwise.

His SB 1381 would save about $700 million a year because there would be an estimated 100,000 fewer children qualifying to begin school, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Half of the money saved would go toward preschool programs and the rest toward the general fund, which could be used for other educational purposes.  […]

Most other states require children to be age 5 on or before Sept. 1 to begin kindergarten. It is time for California to institute the same policy to improve academic performance and use scarce education money more effectively.

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