SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Low-income families in the South Bay are going to have a more difficult time getting their children into subsidized preschool programs starting this summer.

Beginning on July 1, the state will be cutting its preschool and toddler-care program for those families by 15 percent, or $140 million.

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“We also know the eligibility requirements for families are going to change,” said Lisa Kaufman with the Santa Clara County Office of Education. “Basically, families are going to need lower income for a family of four than they do this current year. So it’s going to be harder to be eligible for subsidized preschool.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Kaufman said because of the cuts, the county will have to close four of 12 preschool classes.

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She said cuts like these could significantly impact the achievement gap for children from low-income families.

“Kids who have had exposure to high quality preschool are less likely to retain a grade, less likely to have special education referrals, more likely to graduate, more likely to go to college and more likely to be successful in employment down the road,” she said.

Statewide, the cuts will eliminate 28,000 subsidized preschool slots.

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