EARLY ED ADVOCATES PUSH FOR SENATE’S HIGHER FUNDING AMOUNT
Early childhood education advocates and providers called for increased funding for pre-kindergarten educational and child care programs Thursday morning. The rally held on the State House steps was organized by KidsFirst Massachusetts and featured Rep. Jay Livingstone (D-Boston) and Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury).
“It’s not just for the children, it’s for the families too because if we have working families out in the community working, we have money and income going into the state,” early educator Melanie L’Etoile told the News Service.
During a lobbying session held after the group rallied on the State House steps, advocates dropped off letters to members of the House asking them to support the Senate budget’s version of early education voucher funding, which includes $17.5 million for programs. The House-passed line item calls for $10 million. The letter says close to 3,000 children currently on the waiting list for subsidies will have access to early education under the Senate’s terms.
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Brewer said Wednesday there are roughly 25,000 pre-schoolers on waiting lists. – M. Deehan/SHNS