State lawmakers push for universal preschool education

BOSTON (WWLP) – Stressing that 43 percent of Massachusetts third graders are not reading at grade level, state lawmakers are pushing to provide every child with an early start to education.

State Senator Sonia Chang Diaz (D-Boston) filed a bill that would provide state-funded preschool education for three- and four- year olds across Massachusetts. If it is signed into law, school districts would qualify for funding by submitting a plan to the state on how they would provide high-quality education.

At Tuesday’s bill announcement, Senator Chang-Diaz, a Democrat, received support from state lawmakers across the aisle. She did not specify how the state would fund universal school or how much it would cost.

“You figure out how to pay for it if it’s a priority and what we’re saying today is this can and must be a priority for the legislature this year,” said Sen. Chang-Diaz.

The plan is to provide universal preschool for high-need areas first, before becoming a statewide program over five years time.

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