We stand up for a Massachusetts where everyone gets a fair shot, does and pays their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
As the budget heads to the governor, Massachusetts Fair Share welcomed additional funds for early education, but notes budget crunch continues to slow progress.
BOSTON – As the completed budget now heads to Gov. Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Fair Share commented on funding for early education. Initially, both House and Senate attempted to address early education funding in Massachusetts in their own ways. The senate included a $15.1 million investment in the Commonwealth Preschool Partnerships Initiative to expand access to preschool and the House budget set aside $20 million for investment in a rate reserve for early educators — critical for stabilizing the field. Massachusetts Fair Share supported both approaches.
The compromise budget consists of $15 million for a workforce rate reserve, and $200,000 for preschool planning grants, mostly siding with the House approach. State Director Nathan Proctor made the following statement:
“Investing in our early education workforce is critical, and a no-brainer. We are relieved that lawmakers chose to make these investments despite lower revenue projections.
“While it’s encouraging to see some attempts made towards improving Massachusetts early education programs, Massachusetts still does not measure up to other states when it comes to early education. It’s time to move forward, and figure out a system that truly let’s every child succeed.
“That was what The Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative aimed to do — help schools expand programming for pre-kindergarten. The program received $200,000 in funding, which is a significant decrease from the $15.1 million allocation in the Senate budget.
“If Massachusetts truly wants to be a state that provides equal access to high quality early education for all its residents, lawmakers need to reflect that desire in their investments.”