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Early Childhood Education

"State(s) of Head Start"

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Head Start education sites look uniform on paper, but dig beneath the surface and you find substantial variation from state to state in program quality, percentage of eligible children enrolled, and teacher salaries.

Those are the findings of an analysis of the $8.9 billion federal program from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. It found, for example, that 73 percent of Head Start teachers overall had a bachelor's degree in early-childhood education or a related field. But that ranged from more than 90 percent with that qualification in West Virginia and the District of Columbia to a low of 36 percent in New Mexico.

Similarly, while Head Start teachers in D.C. are paid on par with the city's elementary teachers, there was a $42,000 average wage gap for Head Start teachers in Massachusetts.

Vol. 36, Issue 17, Page 5

Published in Print: January 11, 2017, as Early Childhood Education
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