Early childhood educators are asking for salary increase

BOSTON (WWLP) — The State House of Representatives is debating the 2014 state budget. 22News spoke with some western Massachusetts teachers who are hoping to increase their salaries. 

House lawmakers are on day three of the Fiscal Year 2014 state budget debate.

Early childhood educators from western Massachusetts were on Beacon Hill, asking legislators for a $25 million increase in their salary rate reserve. Pre-school teachers say their salaries have been frozen for over six years.

On average, they earn about $23,500 annually, which they say barely covers their living expenses.

Amanda Thayer, the data manager at Parent-Child Development Center , told 22News, “We have master’s degree teachers in our program that will make $14 an hour.”

According to Suzanne Stillinger, a teacher in West Springfield, “Many early childhood educators in this state live in or near poverty because they choose to work in early childhood education. I qualify for food stamps and fuel assistance in the state of Massachusetts; it's a pretty big impact.”

Early educators say the quality of education is affected by high teacher turnover. Many of the best teachers leave to pursue better paying jobs.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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