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Archive for the ‘MA governor’ Category

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

What makes a high-quality preschool or out-of-school-time space?

Lots of things, including natural light and fresh paint; engaging spaces where children can play, read, or try on hats and costumes; a good heating and cooling system; easy access to fully equipped outdoor play spaces; and modern, functional bathrooms.

Unfortunately, a 2011 report from the Children’s Investment Fund (CIF) revealed that a number of early education and out-of-school-time programs were located in problematic spaces. Deficiencies ranged from holes in the ceiling and leaking toilets to poor air quality and outdoor play spaces that were really just parking lots.

Thanks, however, to the advocacy work of CIF and others, the Massachusetts Legislature used the 2013 Housing and Community Development Bond Bill to create the new $45 million Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund(more…)

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Chris Martes

Chris Martes

Chris Martes, Strategies for Children’s president and CEO, has a new article out in the latest edition of CommonWealth Magazine.

In “A chance to lead on early education,” Martes writes that Massachusetts can be a national role model by building strong pre-K programs. This would prepare more children for lifelong success and set an example for other states.

“From the White House to business boardrooms to the offices of scores of Republican and Democratic mayors, governors, and members of Congress, we’re seeing historic momentum on expanding and improving preschool programs,” Martes writes.

“It is in this spirit of historic potential that we welcome Gov. Charlie Baker to the State House. He and his team have the opportunity to break new ground.”

Pre-K Helps Improve K-12

“The Commonwealth needs strong K-12 schools. But having served for nearly two decades as a school superintendent and as an interim superintendent in five Massachusetts communities, I can tell you that K-12 schools cannot reform education on their own,” Martes explains. “There’s too much work to do. Too many achievement gaps are already in place on the first day that children walk into kindergarten.  (more…)

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“Our actions will be heard in many ways. But the loudest of these actions will initially be in dealing with an immediate budget deficit, building a job-creating economy, closing the achievement gap, confronting opiate addiction and revitalizing our urban centers.”

Governor Charlie Baker in his inauguration speech, January 8, 2015

*     *     *

“Consider this: If we were to put the right policies and resources in place we can make sure every child born is given the support he or she needs, from prenatal care to early childhood education to quality schools and higher education opportunities free of crushing debt, we could transform the Commonwealth in a generation. In a quarter century, we could dramatically diminish many of the problems that saddle both individuals and the Commonwealth as [a] whole: chronic unemployment, workforce shortages, lack of opportunity. In their place: a generation of fully employed, prosperous young people, imbued with a sense of opportunity and possibility. A generation sharing in our collective prosperity.”

Massachusetts State Senator President Stanley C. Rosenberg’s address to the State Senate, January 7, 2015

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Photo Source: Charlie Baker's Facebook page

Photo Source: Charlie Baker’s Facebook page

Today, Charlie Baker is going to be sworn in as the new governor of Massachusetts.

It’s an exciting time for Baker who has spent years working in Massachusetts state government. Among his jobs: secretary of health and human services and secretary of administration and finance.

Now Baker moves into the executive office, and his “inaugural events — built on the ‘Let’s be great, Massachusetts’ theme of his campaign — will include an interfaith service and concert,” the Boston Globe says, adding:

“When Baker moves into his office on the third floor of the State House, he’ll honor one of his predecessors by placing his or her portrait over the mantel.”

Baker also received four parting gifts that, the Globe explains, “traditionally pass from the outgoing governor to the successor.” They are:

1. The pewter key to the governor’s office
2. Former governor Benjamin Butler’s Bible, which he first bestowed in 1884
3. The governor’s gavel, made from oak taken from the USS Constitution, and,
4. The Massachusetts General Statutes, in which the departing governor usually inscribes a message to the governor-elect

The inauguration will include residents and organizations from around the state. According to the Lowell Sun, “The Angkor Dance Troupe won’t be the only Lowell institution to represent the city at Gov.-elect Charlie Baker’s inauguration (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

This afternoon, Deval Patrick is scheduled to take the traditional “Lone Walk” down the steps of the State House to end his two terms as governor.

As a State House News article explains, “Meant to symbolize the governor rejoining the Commonwealth as a private citizen, the departing governor traditionally walks by himself out the front gates of the State House, which are opened for foreign dignitaries, a visiting U.S. president, and for the governor’s walk.”

“The walk… traditionally takes place the morning of the inauguration, but former Gov. Mitt Romney broke with that tradition in 2007 by doing it the night before to give Patrick the spotlight the next day.”

The article adds: “‘When Governor Patrick was reflecting on his experience with Governor Romney, he felt his inauguration was very special and with the way Governor Romney handled it, he wanted to extend the same courtesy,’ said Patrick administration transition director Brian Gosselin.”

So Patrick is taking the walk today to let Governor-elect Charlie Baker have the spotlight tomorrow during his inauguration.  (more…)

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pic of baker website for blog

Image: Screenshot of the Be Great MA website

“Charlie Baker is killing it on Twitter,” a Boston.com headline declared last March, noting that the Twitter streams of the other gubernatorial candidates were “pretty boring.”

Now that he’s the governor-elect, Baker is still tweeting. His handle is @CharlieBakerMA, and he’s posting comments, photos, and videos.

Now is a great time to follow him – and to tweet him about the importance of early education and care.

And if you have specific ideas for Baker, share them on the Be Great MA website where there’s a place to share “your ideas to make Massachusetts great.”

So let Baker and Lieutenant Governor-elect Karyn Polito know what you’re thinking. They’re only a few clicks away.

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Photo Source: Charlie Baker's Facebook page.

Photo Source: Charlie Baker’s Facebook page.

“Governor-elect Charlie Baker is seeking advice. Lots of it,” the Boston Globe reported earlier this month.

“On Thursday, he announced a long list of people who will serve on his advisory transition committees on schools, jobs/economy, community, health, and better government.

“The multitude — more than 170 people in all — include big-names in the worlds of academia, business, and nonprofits…”

As we’ve blogged before, this is a great time for advocates to reach out to Baker’s transition team members and ask them to prioritize early education and care.

“It’s a good idea, and I’m glad to hear that the governor-elect is following that pattern,” the Globe quotes John Walsh saying about the large size of Baker’s transition team. Walsh was Governor Deval Patrick’s 2006 campaign manager. Having a large team works “because it just gives an opportunity, as you’re embarking on this, to hear from [many] different folks.”

We’re glad to report that one of the members of the schools committee is Strategies for Children’s (SFC) Amy O’Leary, director of our Early Education for All campaign. The committee co-chairs are Marty Meehan, the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Beth Anderson, CEO of Phoenix Charter Academy Network. (more…)

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