Now that the AFT is one big happy family with former dissidents from the Chicago Teachers Union, United Teachers of Los Angeles and many others including our own Norm Scott apparently all on the same page concerning how we have to emphasize social justice, we should start a campaign for social justice for a group of the most underpaid and overworked educators: early childhood teachers.
A report was released by The Center for the Study of of Child Care Employment showing that policies in all 50 states and Washington DC are inadequate.
Early educators are among the lowest-paid workers in the country. The median hourly wages for child care workers range from $8.72 in Mississippi to $12.24 in New York. Nationwide, the median wage is $9.77. Preschool teachers fare somewhat better: wages range from $10.54 in Idaho to $19.21 in Louisiana. In contrast, the median national wage for kindergarten teachers is $24.83.
Further down in their press release they state:
According to the National Academies of Science, says Index co-author Dr. Caitlin McLean, “those who teach and care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers require equivalent levels of knowledge and skills as teachers of older children.” Yet, the Index shows that no states have qualification requirements in line with the National Academies of Science recommendations:
I concur with the National Academies of Science; I have witnessed how skillful these teachers are with my own two children, yet we as a society believe infant and toddler care is easy, unskilled work and compensate people accordingly. This has to change.
How are all of those Pre-K teachers in our universal Pre-K Community Based Organizations in NYC being treated? I very much doubt they are receiving the same wages and benefits as Pre-K teachers in the public schoools.
How about some marches and protests for early childhood educators who deserve so much more in return for what they do?.