1) Policy Makers
Rob Reiner (movie producer) proposed Proposition 82, Universal Preschool System. This proposition was rejected in June of 2006. The proposition would have made a free, voluntary, half-day public preschool program available to all four-year olds in California. The State would have imposed a new tax on high-income taxpayers to pay for the new program (Wikipedia)
2) Jurisdiction of the policy makers and the policy’s target population
This policy targets all families, especially low-income families with young children of or approaching 4 years old. It targets those who care about Kindergarten-readiness and achievement score in school.
3) Major provisions and points of the policy
The major provisions of this proposition would have been the tax increase on high-income taxpayers. The proposition would have received 1.7% tax on individual income over $400,000 and couple’s income over $800,000. The estimated fiscal impact was an increase in annual revenues of $2.1 billion in 2007-8, growing with the economy in future years. All the revenues would have been spent on the new preschool program.
4) Socio-cultural, historical, and political context in which the policy is formed
Socio-cultural: The money would be coming from the wealthier and the low-income famlily’s children would be attending the schools
Historical: Although the idea and practice of Universal Preschool is not a new one, and some counties/cities in California have established a universal preschool system, Prop 82 was the first of it’s kind to attempt to establish universal preschool across the entire state of California.
Political: Rob Reiner, producer and political advocate, chaired the campaign to pass Prop 10, the California Children and Families Initiative, which created First 5 California. He served as the first chairman of First 5 California, from 1999 to 2006. While chairman, he campaigned for ballot measure prop 82. he is also involved with a number of other non-profit organizations geared toward the betterment of California’s children.
5) What Assumptions seem inherent in the policy, particularly the policy maker’s stated beliefs regarding family and society as they relate to his or her constituency?
– Assumption that wealthier people think it’s worth their money to provide education for those who cannot necessarily afford it
– “Common sense suggests that kids who start learning earlier in life will do better in school.”
– children’s readiness for school and academic success is a needed and/or good thing
– Families who cannot afford preschool want their children in preschool
Conflicts cross-culturally between teachers and families in low-income areas…?
– Rob Reiner has spent a lot of his time advocating for young children, and their health and education, and he believes that every child in California should have access to quality preschool.
6) 8 discussion questions:
1. How do you feel Prop 82 reflects the values and/or goals of CA state schools?
2. Do you think there are more cost effective ways to expand preschool? What are they?
3. What do you think about Universal Preschool in terms of the requirements it would hold for preschool teachers to have higher degrees?
4. How do you think California is doing with Universal Preschool now?
5. Do you think it is really common sense in the United States that children who start learning early will do better in school?
6. How do you feel about giving the responsibility of funds to the 1%?
7. What do you think we’re losing by having three hour days?
8. “California does less to educate young children than most states in America” – Why do you think this is?