California can afford preschool for all

It is great that The Times recognizes the importance of high-quality early learning for low-income children. However, we disagree that a bill to provide just that to young Californians is "too ambitious." ("Steinberg's preschool bill: It's still too ambitious," Editorial, May 30)

The sad fact is that California serves only half of eligible 3- and 4-year-olds and just 6% of low-income infants and toddlers.


The Times' concern for long-term costs misses the point. For every $1 we spend, we reap $7 in savings down the road. If we don't invest now, we will pay later.

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's proposal also improves quality, and quality matters. The preschool programs with the outcomes we want for California's children have all had high-quality standards and adequate funding.

Additionally, the claim that funding will disappear is wrong. Transitional kindergarten is funded just like other grades, and will not disappear in 10 years any more than it would for first or eighth grade.

There is no smarter investment than our children. They are worth it.

Deborah Kong


The writer is president of the preschool advocacy group Early Edge California.