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    DECEMBER 2019
Student Opportunity Act passes – advocate locally for investments in early education

On November 26, Governor Baker signed the Student Opportunity Act into law. This historic achievement comes after many years of research, collaboration, and advocacy by K-12 partners across the state. Over the next seven years, the law will direct $1.5 billion in new state funding to public school districts, updating the decades old foundation budget and helping to close the achievement gap. We applaud our elected officials for their work to pass the law. See our Twitter roundup below for quotes and pictures from the bill signing event.

The law requires school districts to submit evidence-based plans for closing the achievement gap. It encourages several interventions including, “expanding early education and pre-kindergarten programming within the district in consultation or in partnership with community-based organizations.” We are closely watching our local school districts to see who will use the funding and flexibility to expand early learning opportunities, and prevent achievement gaps. Your advocacy can make a difference! Watch our webinar on Local Preschool Finance for more info and contact us with your ideas for local advocacy.
Mass. Partnership for Infants and Toddlers – a new collaboration for our youngest children

Strategies for Children is proud to be facilitating the new Massachusetts Partnership for Infants and Toddlers (MPIT). This public-private collaboration of 40+ organizations spans early education and care, home visiting, parenting support, and public health. We officially launched in September, and are implementing a family survey from November through December 31. Help us share the survey link with families in your network. (Survey available in English and Spanish). Results will inform state early childhood plans at EEC and in the inter-agency Preschool Development Grant Birth-5. Visit our MPIT webpage for more info.


Check out our Eye on Early Education blog for recent stories you may have missed.

It’s Giving Tuesday – please give us your words!, December 3

The South Coast’s Chamber of Commerce becomes a champion of early childhood, November 25

Family Survey: Massachusetts families with young children, use your voice to influence state policy, November 21

Construction is wrapping up on Springfield’s Educare Center, November 19

Using data to map Boston’s child care landscape, November 7

Financing preschool: an SFC webinar, November 5

Speak up! The Department of Early Education and Care is listening, October 28

Searching for child care in Massachusetts? Check EEC’s website, October 10

Charlie Baker @MassGovernor Dec 3
ICYMI: Last week, @MassLtGov and I joined a broad coalition of legislators, local officials, advocates, business leaders, and the terrific students at @TheEnglishHS to sign legislation reforming education finance and investing in local schools. PHOTOS:

Alice Peisch @RepAlicePeisch Nov 26
Thank you @MassGovernor for signing the #StudentOpportunityAct at the English HS in Jamaica Plain! @SpeakerDeLeo @SenJasonLewis @RepChynahTyler

Sonia Chang-Díaz @SoniaChangDiaz Nov 26
Our nation-leading education funding equity bill is now law! This is a huge win for the families, educators, & organizers who never stopped fighting for these reforms. #mapoli #FBRC #MAEdu My full statement:

State House News @statehousenews Nov 26
At signing of $1.5 billion education funding bill, Gov. Baker says, "If there's one thing I've learned in my 63 years, it's that talent is evenly distributed. What's not evenly distributed is opportunity, and there's a reason why this is the Student Opportunity Act." #mapoli

Speaker Bob DeLeo @SpeakerDeLeo Nov 26
Energy is off the charts today in Boston for #StudentOpportunityAct bill signing. Dedication + tireless efforts on behalf of students by @RepAlicePeisch is why we are here today. @MassGovernor @KarenSpilka @marty_walsh @RepMichlewitz @SenJasonLewis

Chris Lisinski @ChrisLisinski Nov 26
Packed house in the English High School auditorium, where — to chants of "sign that bill" — Gov. Baker just signed landmark legislation to invest $1.5 billion more in K-12 public education over the next seven years. #mapoli

Jamie Eldridge @JamieEldridgeMA Nov 26
At the historic bill-signing by @MassGovernor of the Legislature's #StudentOpportunityAct at #Boston English High School, the nation's oldest public school, a $1.5 billion investment in K-12 public schools over next 7 years! #mapoli

Sen. Joan B. Lovely @SenJoanLovely Nov 26
Thrilled @MassGovernor signed Student Opportunity Act into law. I proudly serve as Vice Chair of the Education Committee alongside @PaulTuckerSalem , and thank Chairs @SenJasonLewis & @RepAlicePeisch for their work on this landmark legislation. #MAPoli

Stacey Rizzo @StaceyRizzo1 Nov 26
Student Opportunity Act is Signed! Thanks to all...a zip code should not determine your educational opportunities! It will provide support to the ELL students, increase special ed funding &guidance and psychological services! @MASCSchoolComm @RPS_Super @MayorArrigo

Natasha Ushomirsky @NatashaU1115 Nov 26
Best part of getting to watch @MassGovernor sign the landmark #StudentOpportunityAct today? Sitting among the students and teachers of @TheEnglishHS! Best reminder of why this bill is so important. #maedu #mapoli



notes from Amy

On December 2,
I had the opportunity to participate on a panel to discuss child care at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Titled “Getting to the Point,” the discussion featured state and local leaders, advocates, and members of the business community talking about barriers to affordable, quality child care across Massachusetts and the effect this has on the industry and family security. You can watch the discussion here. You can see that the chamber was not quite full as we had our first significant snow in Boston and many of the 150 people that had RSVPed watched the live stream from home. Still, a smaller group of folks braved the elements to join in the discussion. In my remarks, I mentioned that back in the 90s, we used to have our Early Education and Care Conference on a Saturday at the State House and it was incredible to look out into the House Chamber and see the members’ seats filled with early educators from every corner of the state. I had the same feeling as I looked out in the replica of the US Senate.

This semester I am teaching Advocacy and Social Justice in Early Education and Care – part of a five course Leadership Certificate Program - at Quinsigamond Commuity College. The students watched the live stream of the event and afterwards we had a conference call to share reflections on both the panel and the NAEYC Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement. One student said that she felt connected – that as she watched the panel she realized that she knew me, she had met EEC Commissioner Aigner-Treworgy and she had met educator Theresa Loch in class. Another student said that she felt informed and another student talked about how important it was to have the voice of someone who was in the classroom every day as part of the discussion.

When asked by Lauren Kennedy, who moderated the discussion, “what it would take to get moonshot reform across the finish line?” I repsonded that we could do it if educators were required to take an advocacy and policy class! I have seen hundreds of early educators realize the power they have as they learn more about advocacy and how our systems work. I have seen them challenge themselves, contact elected officials, understand funding streams, and become even more passionate about their work. I remain inspired by the educators who come to work every day determined to support the children and families they serve.

In this season of thanks, please join me in thanking early educators.


617.330.7384           400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 
Strategies for Children works to ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life.