Amalia Correia: Must support high-quality early education

Sunday, June 18, 2017
Must support high-quality early education

Education is argued to be the great equalizer. It is often framed as the solution to escape disadvantaged situations.

As the Massachusetts House and Senate work out the final budget to send to Gov. Charlie Baker, I will be paying close attention to how it will affect early education. Since 2001, funding in Massachusetts has sagged for critical early education programs. In states like Oklahoma and Georgia, preschools are state-funded for almost every child.

Early education is vital to a child’s preparedness for kindergarten. If we provide more access to a high-quality early education, we can shrink the academic achievement gap between low-income children and their higher-income counterparts.

We must include in the final budget both the House’s $20 million budget for the improvement of teacher benefits and salaries, as well as the new investment to expand preschool programs by the Senate.

It is my hope that the House and Senate will come together and create the best budget plan toward the goal of giving all children the same strong start.

Amalia Correia

South Hadley

The writer is interning this summer with Massachusetts Fair Share in Boston.