House speaker wants to raise pay for Pre-K teachers

Says higher pay would attract more high-quality teachers

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants to get more pre-school teachers into the classroom, but fewer people are pursuing careers in education.

DeLeo said that the state has focused for too long on expanding access to pre-kindergarten education, but hasn’t focused enough on the quality. He says that improving the quality begins with paying teachers more money.

The Winthrop Democrat says that there are fewer pre-school teachers than there should be, because the pay is too low. He says that his budget proposal will include more money for early educator salaries, to help attract people to the field.

“If we are going to be talking about early education, then we have to be talking about quality and preparing these youngsters for the future,” DeLeo said.

The speaker says that he plans to file a bill to expand training programs, to get more qualified teachers into the classroom. He did not specify just how much it would cost.