notes from Amy
The EEC Board meeting was held on Valentine’s Day, so I took the opportunity to share some love during the public comment and highlight progress over the last few months.
I thanked Commissioner Weber and the Board members for supporting early educators in their FY18 budget recommendations and including $36 million to support workforce and quality. We were encouraged to see that Governor Baker’s FY18 state budget proposal included a $7 million rate increase for the early education workforce.
Several early education bills have been filed by state legislators, including An Act Ensuring High-Quality Early Education filed by Representative Alice Peisch and Senator Sal DiDomenico.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo released the findings and recommendations of the Early Education and Care Business Advisory Group to support the early education workforce.
We were encouraged to see good news in the report released with findings from the first year of implementing the federally funded Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) program in five communities across the state: Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield.
The Department of Early Education and Care contracted with Abt Associates to conduct a longitudinal evaluation of the PEG program in Massachusetts.
We agree with Governor Baker who said, “The Preschool Expansion Grant program is developing important partnerships between participating school districts and community-based early education and care programs. The five participating cities are making significant progress toward supporting our goal of helping all children achieve math and reading proficiency by third grade.”
We are seeing the momentum continue on the local level with the 13 communities who received funding to develop plans to expand preschool. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh made a big push for pre-K in his State of the City address.
As the Commonwealth develops its consolidated state plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, we invite you to learn more about opportunities to strengthen the alignment and coordination between early childhood and the K-12 education systems in Massachusetts. Join us on Wednesday, March 1, 10:30 AM – 12 PM. Click here to RSVP.
Lastly, MassBudget has released a new report that looks at the “federal funding sources that the state uses to provide access to affordable health care, help children thrive, assist low-income families, and care for veterans.” According to the report, 70% of funding for the MA Department of Early Education and Care is federal.
We continue to work with our federal advocacy partners to understand the latest news and updates from Washington DC and potential impact for young children and families. Stay informed and call your elected officials to let them know your priorities.