Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger Takes Action to Secure Available Recovery Act Funds for Early Childhood Education

SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Building on his commitment to both high-quality early childhood education and bringing available American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding to California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued Executive Order S-23-09 establishing the California State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care. This is the first step in making California eligible to compete for a share of $100 million in federal Head Start funds available through President Obama’s Recovery Act.

CA Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger“A high-quality early childhood education is a critical building block in a student’s social and educational foundation,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This action will help bring California funding to support our state’s high-quality preschool programs and help ensure our state’s neediest children will be prepared for success on their very first day of elementary school.”

The federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 requires that states establish State Advisory Councils in order to receive Head Start grants designed to increase collaboration among early childhood education providers. The Recovery Act provides grants of at least $500,000 to support states in establishing these councils and in developing statewide early childhood education plans. Following the Governor’s action today, California is expected to receive as much as $10.7 million over three years. Funding applications must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by August 1, 2010, and must include an explanation of California’s strategy to improve coordination and collaboration among California’s Head Start agencies, preschool programs and other early childhood education providers. This enhanced coordination will help California expand access so that early childhood education providers can serve more needy children. The California State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care established today will plan-for and ensure California’s application process meets federal requirements and make the state competitive for the funds.

In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation to establish the Early Learning Quality Improvement System (ELQIS) Advisory Committee. Co-chaired by Secretary of Education Glen Thomas, the committee was created to propose recommendations regarding evaluation and improvement in the quality of child development programs providing services from birth to age five, including preschool. In addition to establishing the State Advisory Council, defining its membership and outlining its responsibilities, this executive order also establishes ELQIS as an official committee of the Council.

“California benefits from a robust and diverse early childhood education delivery system,” said Secretary of Education Glen Thomas. “I look forward to working together to build on this foundation and improve collaboration among providers so we can more effectively deliver high-quality preschool programs to the children who need them most.”

Since taking office, Governor Schwarzenegger has worked to ensure California’s neediest children have access to a high-quality early childhood education. In 2008, the Governor signed legislation establishing the California State Preschool Program (CSP), which consolidates all the early childhood education programs in the state. Specifically, CSP streamlines funding and expands preschool options, increasing program availability and reducing administrative costs. In 2006, he signed legislation to provide more than 12,000 children living in areas with low-performing schools access to preschool programs.

Text of Executive Order S-23-09:


WHEREAS California’s leaders and residents recognize the value of high quality early learning experiences in preparing young children for success in school and life; and

WHEREAS early childhood development requires a comprehensive, coordinated approach to a child’s care and learning experiences; and

WHEREAS research has recognized that investment in comprehensive, high quality early education can yield enormous economic benefits for future generations and local communities; and

WHEREAS research has documented that investment in comprehensive, high quality early education can save money by preventing future expenditures on remedial education, incarceration, and cash assistance; and

WHEREAS the needs of California’s children are complex, and the network of services for California’s children are managed by a myriad of agencies, often with different goals and objectives; and

WHEREAS the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-134) requires the establishment of a State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care (State Advisory Council) in order to receive Head Start collaboration grants from the federal government; and

WHEREAS the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included $100 million in Head Start ARRA funds to support the scope of work of the State Advisory Councils in each state; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, sent a letter on May 11, 2009 to Governor Schwarzenegger reaffirming the Obama Administration’s commitment to early childhood education and care and affirming that California would be eligible to compete for up to $10.6 million for a three-year grant period to support the State Advisory Council; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that application for these funds must be made by August 1, 2010 and must be submitted by the State Advisory Council; and

WHEREAS the goals of the State Advisory Council, as established by federal law, are similar to the goals of the Early Learning Quality Improvement System (ELQIS) Advisory Committee, a committee established when I signed Senate Bill 1629 (Chapter 307, Statutes of 2008) and which is charged with developing a policy and implementation plan for California’s ELQIS; and

WHEREAS Education Code section 8300, subdivision (a) provides that the following 13 members shall sit on the ELQIS Advisory Committee:

1. Superintendent of Public Instruction (co-chair).
2. Secretary of Education (co-chair).
3. Senate President Pro Tempore (or designee).
4. Assembly Speaker (or designee).
5. A representative from the Department of Finance.
6. A representative from the Department of Social Services.
7. Chair of the California Commission on Children and Families (or designee).
8. Two appointees of the Governor.
9. Two representatives of local providers of early childhood education and development
services appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.
10. Two appointments by the Speaker of the Assembly — one from the early childhood education community who has experience with English learners, and one who is a local educational agency kindergarten teacher; and

WHEREAS the membership of the ELQIS Advisory Committee overlaps in part with the requirements for the membership of a State Advisory Council imposed by federal law.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of California, do hereby order effective immediately:

1. The California State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care is hereby established. Membership on the council shall include the members of the ELQIS Committee. In addition to those thirteen members, I will appoint the following representatives to serve on the State Advisory Council:

· The State Director of Head Start Collaboration.
· One representative of institutions of higher education
in the state.
· One representative of the state educational agency, defined for federal purposes as the State Board of Education.
· One representative of the state agency responsible for health or mental health care.
· One representative of Head Start agencies located in the state, including migrant and seasonal and Indian Head Start programs.

2. The State Advisory Council will have three individuals, or their designees, serve as
co-chairs. The chairpersons will be:

· Secretary of Education (or designee).
· Superintendent of Public Instruction (or designee).
· Chairperson of the California Children and Families Commission (or designee).

3. The State Advisory Council will perform the following duties:

· Submit an application for ARRA Head Start funding on behalf of the State of California by August 1, 2010.
· Develop and recommend a statewide plan for making maximum use of federal dollars, including federal Early Learning Challenge Grants.
· Identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination among entities carrying out federally-funded, state-funded and locally-funded child development, child care, and early childhood education programs.
· Make recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing federal, state, and local child care and early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations.
· Make recommendations for establishing a unified data collection system for publicly funded programs offering early childhood education, development, and services.
· Make recommendations for a statewide professional development and career plan for early childhood education and care.
· Assess the capacity and effectiveness of two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education toward supporting the development of early childhood educators.
· Make recommendations for improvement in state early learning standards, as appropriate.

This Order is not intended to create, and does not create, any rights or benefits, whether substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California or its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.

I FURTHER ORDER that, as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto
set my hand and caused the Great Seal of
the State of California to be affixed this 9th
day of November 2009.

Governor of California


Secretary of State

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