“Despite additional funding in last year’s bipartisan federal spending bill, early childhood education in Massachusetts continues to be shortchanged. It’s time the state Legislature and Baker administration address the unintended consequences of well-intended actions that are producing perverse and far-reaching results.”
“Standards issued in 2003 by the Early Childhood Advisory Council under its then-chairman [and current secretary of education]… James Peyser include the requirement that by 2017 newly hired teachers working with 3- and 4-year-old children have a bachelor’s degree.”
“The council recognized that, ‘Higher standards will require that teachers be paid higher salaries and that funding will need to be provided for the financial supports and other resources to allow programs to meet these standards.’ Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. This should be a bipartisan issue with bipartisan solutions.”
“Well-educated and trained preschool teachers with bachelor’s degrees are being recruited as K-12 teachers. The incentives for leaving pre-K education for K-12 are compelling. A pre-K teacher, working year-round and making about $32,000 a year, can move to a public school position — take the summer off — and in many cases get paid twice as much.”
“The need for teachers is greater than ever. Yet, the ability to attract them is undermined by state inaction to fund higher rates for teachers. The result is empty classrooms and children who are not being served.”
“Early education: Expense or investment?” by Carl Gustin, Gloucester Daily Times, February 10, 2016. Gustin is a member of the board of directors of Pathways for Children, an education and care provider with 13 locations across the North Shore, including Gloucester and Salem.