Universal Preschool Proposed for California

California is no longer broke. So what about some free school?

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    The long era of steady cuts to education is over -- and now it's time to add some classes back to California.

    That's the plan in Sacramento, where a top lawmaker has proposed a $1 billion plan to provide universal preschool to all eligible four-year-old children in the state, according to Reuters.

    State Senate president Darrell Steinberg says preschool for all students would lead to a host of improvements for the state: lower crime, more students in college, and a general leveling of the playing field.

    Steinberg is part of a progressive, left-leaning wing in Sacramento that, buoyed by the recent fiscal good tidings brought on by centrist Gov. Jerry Brown's no-nonsense approach, has pushed for social programs to be re-funded, re-created -- or begun anew altogether, the news source reported.

    Brown is expected to announce his budget soon. Top Republican leaders slammed the notion of universal preschool as a "jobs program for the teachers' union," Reuters reported.

    It's also an idea that's gaining nationwide traction: President Barack Obama has called on more preschool to be instituted.