We stand up for a Massachusetts where everyone gets a fair shot, does and pays their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
On March 30, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he requested some $28 million in found money to be directed to early educators through an increase in the reimbursement rate for subsidized early education and care.
This is welcome news. The release of unspent money to directly address one of the biggest issues affecting early education and child care in Massachusetts is real progress.
We have questions about why this money was budgeted but not spent previously, but are grateful that early educators could see their wages stabilized.
It’s clear that the political environment around early education and care has shifted.
Last summer, the governor targeted investments in early educators for line item vetoes. We are encouraged to see that Gov. Baker now sees these investments are critical. Both the governor and legislative leadership deserve credit for hearing concerns and taking some steps to address the issue. They have my thanks.
In our work to push state leaders to create the kind of early education system that works for every child, we’ve seen time and time again how much support there is on the ground for these critical programs. Last year, we delivered a letter signed by 136 local elected leaders, and as we spoke to city and town leaders all across the state, we heard again and again how much they connected access to high-quality early education as critical to setting up children for success. Those messages are getting through.
We must continue these efforts. While we’ve started to catch up from a decade of shrinking investments in early education, other states like Oklahoma offer every child the choice to attend public preschool.
I look forward to continuing efforts to push for a system where every child in Massachusetts gets the same strong start.