Lawmakers seeking raises for early education teachers

BOSTON (WWLP) — Early education workers are some of the lowest-paid public employees in Massachusetts, but now, some state lawmakers are asking legislative leaders to give them more support.

Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield) is asking House Speaker Robert DeLeo to invest $25 million in early education workers.

Early education workers earn an average of about $24,000 dollars annually.  Coakley-Rivera co-wrote a letter to the House Speaker in support of $25 million investment in early educator salaries, so they can boost their income to about $25,000 dollar per year. 

State lawmakers in favor of the proposal say that the lack of raises has made it difficult for early education programs to keep their best educators.

“If we care about early providers doing, you know, the best that they can for our children, then we need to help them, right? They are the lowest paid public service employees here in the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Linda Dorcena-Forry (D-Dorchester).

State lawmakers are also asking legislative leaders to increase access to early education, as there are currently about 54,000 children on waiting lists across Massachusetts.

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