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SAN JOSE, CA – During a joint press conference on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, the Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio, Black Men for Educational Equity, and Kidango announced support for legislation AB 2806 that would prohibit suspensions and expulsions in state preschool and childcare programs.
“If passed, this legislation will make a significant impact toward creating a more equitable system for access to high-quality early education,”said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools.
The bill, co-sponsored by the SCCOE, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Black Men for Educational Equity, and Kidango and authored by Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio, would also strengthen early childhood mental consultation (ECMHC) to promote positive mental health and support teachers, children, and families.
“As a former teacher myself, I believe we need to ensure all our children are given a fair opportunity to succeed in their earliest school years,” said bill author, Assemblywoman Blanca
E. Rubio, “This bill helps address structural inequities in our early childhood education system by not only prohibiting suspensions and expulsions, but also by providing needed support to staff.”
National data indicates that preschool age children are suspended and expelled three times as often as children in K-12 settings and that these exclusionary practices are targeted at children of color and those with disabilities. While African American children represent 18% of children enrolled in preschool nationally, they make up 42% of the preschool children suspended once, and 48% of those suspended more than once.
“We can no longer turn a blind eye, the data are clear— the achievement gap, low-expectations by educators, chronic absenteeism, disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates, to name the most egregious, are precursors in our education system to the preschool to prison pipeline,” said Shadidi Sia-Maat from Black Men for Educational Equity.
The full press conference can be found on the Kidango Youtube Channel. For more information on the bill, visit the California State Legislature information website.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.