State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson opposes state budget cuts to child care and early learning programs.
Speaking at City College of San Francisco, Torlakson warned that some 62,000 children statewide are at risk of losing access to early childhood programs like CCSF's child care and development centers because of $500 million in proposed cuts to such programs in this year's
According to the California Department of Education, such programs have already been cut by nearly $700 million over the past four years.
The cumulative impact of the cuts represents a 42 percent loss in state funding for childcare since 2008, according to the education department.
In remarks made before the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review committee in March, Torlakson said the administration's proposal would effectively begin dismantling the state's child care system and offers no cost savings.
CCSF's network of child care centers serve approximately 6,000
students, according to the college's Child Development Department Chair
CCSF board of trustees president John Rizzo said the cuts to child development programs, which can help preschoolers get a jump on their education, are just as bad as cuts to educational programs for older students and adults.
Torlakson echoed King's comment, noting that the early education programs are one piece of an educational continuum that spans preschool
education through higher education and beyond.
"Breaking the continuum is a lost opportunity," Torlakson said.
Torlakson is encouraging California residents to write letters and emails to Gov. Jerry Brown in opposition to the cuts and taking a stand for
Referring to toddlers he observed Wednesday morning on a tour of the child care facility at CCSF's Mission Campus, he said the youngsters have a voracious appetite for knowledge and are "just full of life."