OTL Campaign Applauds MA Gov. Patrick's $350 Million
Investment in Early Childhood Education
"Opportunity is too important to leave to chance."
Hot on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement of increased funding for early childhood education (ECE), Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is calling for universal pre-K and a historic investment in the state's early learning programs.
In his State of the Commonwealth, Gov. Patrick highlighted the benefits of expanding access to high-quality early learning opportunities, particularly in closing the achievement gap. He is proposing a nearly $350 million investment in the state's early education system over the next four years with $151 million in FY14 alone.
A recent report from our allies at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center details the tragic decrease in funding for ECE in the state over the past decade. Gov. Patrick's proposal would put the state well on path to restoring those lost funds and expanding opportunity for the state's children. We call on the Governor and other policymakers to ensure there is increased access for the nearly 30,000 children currently on the wait list for early education programs across the state.
The governor's ECE proposal is part of a broader education investment package covering everything from ECE and K-12 to higher education affordability and job training programs. The full package is estimated to cost $550 million in its first year, increasing to nearly $1 billion annually over the next four years. The governor is proposing to pay for the package through a 1% increase in the state income tax while doubling personal exemptions to keep the raise fair.
Want to learn more about the benefits of early childhood education for our children, our society and our economy? Read (and share!) this open letter to President Obama from Elaine Weiss, National Coordinator for the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, and Cassie Schwerner, Senior VP of Programs at the Schott Foundation for Public Education. ECE has bipartisan support, is fiscally smart, creates jobs and secures our nation's future. What more could you ask for?