Baker Announces Funding Increase For Early Education

Apr 1, 2017

A preschool classroom
Credit WAMC

Advocates for early education in Massachusetts are applauding this week’s funding boost announced by the Baker administration.

Joan Kagan, president of the Square One early education organization, said the $28 million earmark announced by Gov. Charlie Baker will mean a six percent raise for teachers, who earn an average of $26,000 a year in state subsidized preschools.

"This allocation that he has made will help get us in the right direction to help us get toward a living-wage for our staff," Kagan said in an interview.

She said there is a " workforce crisis" in the early education field.  Being able to attract and retain preschool teachers should open up more classroom slots for the more than 44,000 children currently on wiating lists to enroll in state-subsidized early education programs.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said an increase in funding for early education will be a priority in next year’s state budget.