In the debate over the state budget, Governor Deval Patrick says the Massachusetts House hasn’t set aside enough money for early childhood education. He asked for a $15 million increase in funding, but house leaders proposed half of that.
To pay for the funding increase, Patrick proposed a new tax on soda and candy, but he told WGBH legislators don’t want to keep asking the public to pay more.
“And the public doesn’t want to keep being asked to pay more,” says Patrick. “Seems to me, though, we’ve got to talk about what kinds of investments we’re prepared to make to make us all stronger.”
Patrick says research shows early childhood education is critical, especially for low income and disadvantaged students. Still, the budgeting process isn’t over and he says he’s hopeful he will be able to secure more funding for education before it is finalized.