Massachusetts Fair Share

We stand up for a Massachusetts where everyone gets a fair shot, does and pays their fair share, and plays by the same rules.

43 Bay State Economists Back Early Education and Preschool Bills

Massachusetts Fair Share coordinated economists from around Massachusetts to support bold new plans to invest in early education, earning the support of 43 economic experts who agree that an increase in access to quality early education services in Massachusetts will strengthen our economy.

The letter was delivered as part of written testimony for a June 20 hearing to support bills to create universal preschool programs and support the early education workforce.

Everyone deserves a fair shot in life, and that starts with a quality education. Failing to provide quality, universal early education is not only wrong; it’s shortsighted. Early education is a great investment, saving money for the public as students are more likely to graduate from high school and college, to be consistently employed, and to earn higher wages. They’re also less likely to use public assistance, require placement in special education programs, or be arrested and sent to taxpayer-funded prisons

Massachusetts should lead on early education. Giving every child a strong start creates a better future for all of us.

For the full letter and list of signers see below:


June 20, 2017

Dear Members of the Joint Committee on Education,

As you consider legislation to improve and expand early childhood education programs in Massachusetts, we would like to add our voices as economists to strongly support action that invests in these critical services.

There are many reasons to advance funding for high-quality early education, which has at least the same potential as other levels of education to be a powerful tool to reduce inequality and the opportunity gap. In addition, we would like to draw your attention to the ways that this funding will yield important returns by improving the Commonwealth’s economy:

  • High-quality early childhood education elevates the quality of the workforce; children who have received this type of education experience an improvement in their cognitive, social and behavioral skills, which allow them to make greater contributions when they enter the workforce.
  • Publicly-funded, high-quality early education programs allow more parents to join the workforce, confident that their children are well provided for while they are at work.
  • High-quality early education decreases the amount children will need in special service programs as they progress through school and, later, in social service programs as adults.

In 2000, the Committee on the Science of Early Childhood Development of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine noted: “From birth to age 5, children rapidly develop foundational capabilities on which subsequent development builds. In addition to their remarkable linguistic and cognitive gains, they exhibit dramatic progress in their emotional, social, regulatory, and moral capacities. All of these critical dimensions of early development are intertwined, and each requires focused attention.”

All children deserve, and the whole society benefits from, giving children this attention through high quality early childhood education. Specifically, we support:

  • An Act Ensuring High-Quality Early Education H.2874 and An Act Ensuring High-Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education S.240 which would provide grants to schools to expand pre-kindergarten programs (starting at ages 2 years, 9 months), using a mixed-delivery system, prioritizing districts based on need and readiness to expand, and ensuring that educators are given competitive salaries.
  • An Act relative to universal pre-kindergarten access S. 221 which would similarly create a grant program to expand pre-kindergarten access, and then would fold those services into Chapter 70 funding.
  • An Act relative to rates of payment for early childhood education and care programs S. 238 which would create an annual review process to ensure that early education providers receive adequate funding to deliver professional, stable and high-quality service.

Sincerely,

  1. Maria Luengo-Prado, Associate professor of Economics, Northeastern University
  2. Michael Manove, Ph.D., Boston University
  3. Stephen Marglin, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  4. Harold Petersen, Associate Professor of Economics, Boston College
  5. Robert Pollin, Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  6. Michael Samson, Director of Research Economic Policy Research Institute, Williams College
  7. Katharine Sims, Amherst College
  8. Peter Skott, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  9. Professor Bryan Snyder, Department of Economics, Bentley University
  10. Peter Spiegler, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  11. Anand Swamy, Professor of Economics, Williams College
  12. Vis Taraz, Assistant Professor of Economics, Smith College
  13. David Terkla Dean, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
  14. Vamsi Vakulabharanam, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  15. Jeannette Wicks-Lim, Assistant Research Professor, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  16. Andrew Zimbalist, Professor of Economics, Smith College
  17. David Zimmerman, Williams College
  18. Ken Ardon, Chair Economics Department, Salem State University
  19. Lee Badgett, Center for Public Policy & Administration and Dept. of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  20. Ralph Bradburd, Professor of Economics, Williams College
  21. Michael Carter, Chair Economics Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  22. Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  23. Bilge Erten, Assistant Professor of Economics, Northeastern University
  24. Kade Finnoff, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
  25. Professor Gerald Friedman, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  26. Monica Galizzi, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Lowell
  27. Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  28. Jonathan Haughton, Professor of Economics, Suffolk University
  29. Adam Honig, Amherst College
  30. Keren Mertens Horn, University of Massachusetts Boston
  31. Sarah Jacobson, Assistant Professor, Williams College
  32. Professor Roger T. Kaufman, Smith College
  33. Sari Pekkala Kerr, Wellesley College
  34. Marlene Kim, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
  35. Yun K. Kim, University of Massachusetts Boston
  36. Harry Konstantinidis, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
  37. Kevin Lang, Department of Economics, Boston University
  38. Barton Lipman, Boston University
  39. Jeffrey A. Livingston, Bentley University
  40. Arthur MacEwan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
  41. Randy Albelda, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston
  42. Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD, Bridgewater State University
  43. Tzuo-Hann Law, Assistant Professor of Economics, Boston College

 

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One comment on “43 Bay State Economists Back Early Education and Preschool Bills

  1. Pingback: Legislators Consider Universal Preschool and Early Education Bills | Massachusetts Fair Share

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This entry was posted on June 20, 2017 by in early education.
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