Early childhood education advocates to meet Wednesday in Fresno

The Fresno BeeFebruary 18, 2014 

A group of early childhood education advocates are meeting in Fresno on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, as part of a statewide tour meant to pressure lawmakers into boosting funding for preschool and child care.

Representatives from First 5 Fresno County, the Fresno Housing Authority and the Parent Institute for Quality Education will meet with parents and child care workers in central Fresno to talk about improving access to education and closing the achievement gap for the region's youngest learners.

Organizers say Fresno is one of seven stops on a tour that ends in Sacramento, where advocates are expected to rally and call on legislators to reinstate about $1 billion in funding for early education cut during the recession.

In recent years, local school districts including Fresno Unified have chipped in some of their state dollars to expand preschool offerings. Last year, the district spent $7.4 million to add 1,000 preschool seats and 18 new teachers.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6412, hfurfaro@fresnobee.com or @hannahfurfaro on Twitter.

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