A. An Act Relative to Universal Pre-K Access (S. 253)

43% of Massachusetts third graders are not reading at grade level; 37% of students entering our public colleges and universities are unprepared for college level work; and we have over 150,000 jobs going unfilled in the Commonwealth due to the lack of an adequately skilled workforce. On the other hand, low-income children who participate in high-quality early education are 40% less likely to be held back or require special education, 30% more likely to graduate from high school, and twice as likely to go to college. Universal pre-k will produce substantial cost savings for the state, as every $1 spent on early education and care yields a $7-$17 return on investment. This bill will recognize early education as a part of our core public education system, adding pre-school students to districts’ Chapter 70 enrollment. The system would be phased in over the course of five years, beginning with the highest-needs districts, and districts would have to offer a plan to implement high-quality programming.

Current co-sponsors:

Daniel A. Wolf, Benjamin B. Downing, Kevin G. Honan, Jose F. Tosado, Paul R. Heroux, Marjorie C. Decker, Peter V. Kocot, Aaron Vega, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Frank A. Moran, Mary S. Keefe, Patricia D. Jehlen, Jason M. Lewis, Joan B. Lovely, Brian M. Ashe, Ruth B. Balser, Christine P. Barber, Antonio F. D. Cabral, James M. Cantwell, Evandro C. Carvalho, Edward F. Coppinger, Marcos A. Devers, Geoff Diehl, Eileen M. Donoghue, Michelle M. DuBois, James J. Dwyer, Lori A. Ehrlich, James B. Eldridge, Linda Dorcena Forry, Gloria L. Fox, Carmine L. Gentile, Carlos Gonzalez, Danielle W. Gregoire, Robert L. Hedlund, Russell E. Holmes, Brian A. Joyce, Jay R. Kaufman, Eric P. Lesser, Barbara L'Italien, Jay D. Livingstone, Elizabeth A. Malia, Rady Mom, Mark C. Montigny, Michael O. Moore, Shaunna L. O'Connell, Marc R. Pacheco, Denise Provost, David M. Rogers, Tom Sannicandro, Paul A. Schmid, III, Alan Silvia, Frank I. Smizik, Thomas M. Stanley, Ellen Story, Benjamin Swan, Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Paul Tucker, Steven Ultrino, Chris Walsh