Activist: $$$ move state closer to universal early ed. goal
The newly inked state budget represents a “step in the right direction,” according to early education advocates, who say the goal of universal access to high-quality early education and care in Massachusetts will require additional resources.
In an email Monday, three days after Gov. Deval Patrick signed a $36.5 billion budget, Amy O’Leary of Early Education for All said the spending plan increases spending on early education for the second consecutive year and the new investments represent the largest overall funding increase for early education since 2008.
The budget level funds universal pre-kindergarten grants, full-day kindergarten and the Early Childhood Educator Scholarship program, but increases spending in other areas.
The budget includes $15 million in new spending to serve about 1,700 income-eligible children on waiting lists for early education; a $6.57 million rate reserve for early educator salaries and benefits; a new $1 million pre-kindergarten classroom grant program; and a $1 million increase for Head Start programs.
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