The state’s First 5 commission produced 30-second TV spots encouraging parents to read, talk and sing more to their young children.
Doctor Richard Pan chairs the Assembly Health Committee. He says interaction is an important part of child development.
“Certainly as a pediatrician, when I talk to parents, we talk about how important it is engage,” says Pan. “We talk about how important it is to connect with young children.”
Lower income children are reportedly read to much less than more affluent children. Assemblymember Roger Dickinson says about 70 percent of brain development happens in those crucial first three years.
“If a child is not reading at third grade level by the time they’re in third grade, the chance are they will never catch up.”
The legislature is considering a range of early childhood development bills including universal pre-school for four-year-olds and state funded daycare for babies and toddlers.
The California Community College System hopes changing the name of a free tuition program will get more eligible students to take advantage of it.
The Sacramento area unemployment rate increased last month. July's jobless rate was 5.2 percent, up from 4.8 percent in June. Analysts with the state Employment Development Department attribute the increase to seasonal cutbacks at schools.
Some Folsom High School students are planning to launch a high-altitude, helium-filled balloon into the path of the solar eclipse next Monday. The balloon will have four cameras on it.
A new state law that kicked in last summer requires shots for public school children. Some families are still adjusting to the law.
UPDATE, July 12, 4:27 p.m.: A bill that would have allowed California school districts to add another year of probation to teachers before extending tenure will not become law this year.