This afternoon, a judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit that seeks to stop the elimination of “Stage 3” child care for 55,000 children in low-income working families. The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Oakland courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Wynne Carvill. Stage 3 serves families who have transitioned off CalWORKs cash assistance into the workforce, but whose incomes remain sufficiently low that they can’t afford the cost of child care. The program was scheduled to be eliminated on Monday, November 1 due to the Governor’s $256 million line-item veto of state funding for Stage 3 in 2010-11. Last week, however, Judge Carvill ordered the state to extend the termination date to Friday, November 5. This delay gave the court time “to hear evidence on this case … and make a ruling on the merits,” according to the California Department of Education, which oversees Stage 3. The judge’s ruling could be issued as early as this afternoon.
— Scott Graves