Education Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-7155

Title:

AN ACT REQUIRING THE OFFICE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD TO DEVELOP A PROPOSED EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR COMPENSATION SCHEDULE.

Vote Date:

3/22/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/1/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Education Committee.

REASONS FOR BILL:

Under current statute, the Office of Early Childhood does not have a compensation schedule for early childhood educators. This bill requires the Office to design an early childhood educator compensation schedule.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Linda Goodman, Acting Commissioner, Office of Early Childhood (OEC):

Commissioner Goodman stated that the Office of Early Childhood understands that early childhood instructors are currently burdened by low wages. However, the OEC asserted that a compensation schedule, as would be enacted by H.B. 7155, would encumber the state. The OEC stated that creating a compensation schedule would financially burden the state due to the fact that the OEC would have to contract with outside experts in order to draft such a calendar. The OEC recommended that instead of seeking a compensation schedule, the state could enact a mandate that requires that early childhood teachers, with the proper qualifications, be paid at the same rate as teachers in the local public schools.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Izzi Greenberg, Director of Middlesex Coalition for Children:

The Middlesex Coalition for Children supports H.B. 7155 and the creation of a compensation schedule. The Coalition stated they support the bill on the grounds that it will increase the wages of qualified early childhood/ educators who the coalition believes are underpaid.

Lorie Hebert:

Ms. Hebert supports H.B. 7155 due to the fact that it would create a compensation schedule for early childhood teachers.

Ingrid Henlon, Mount Olive Child Development Program:

Ingrid expressed support for H.B. 7155 due to the fact that the passage of the bill would result in an increase in early childhood teacher's wages. Ingrid declared that she and her colleagues conduct an important job yet get paid very little. Thus, Ingrid asserted her support for H.B. 7155 on the grounds that it would increase the wages of early childhood teachers.

Tracey Madden-Hennessey, Associate Director at the YWCA New Britain:

Ms. Madden- Hennessey supports H.B. 7155 on the grounds that will aid early childhood teachers and the early childhood education system. Due to low wages and the fact that early childhood teachers are going to be required to possess a Bachelor's degree by 2020, Ms. Madden- Hennessey stated that there is a shortage of early childhood teachers. She declared that H.B. 7155 would mitigate the shortage of teachers in the early education field.

Emilie Montgomery, Executive Director of Early Care and Education, Community Renewal Team (CRT):

Ms. Montgomery expressed support for the compensation calendar included in H.B. 7511 on the grounds that it would increase the wages of early childhood teachers. CRT stated that it is necessary for a compensation calendar to be preceded by an analysis of the cost of the recommended compensation, and then supported by appropriate increases in funding for programs. CRT also stated that a compensation calendar would increase the number of qualified early childhood teachers in the workforce.

Gwen Pastor, Policy Analyst, Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS):

Ms. Pastor expressed support for the compensation calendar featured in H.B. 7511. CAHS stated that they support the compensation calendar due to their belief that the calendar would increase the wages of qualified early education teachers.

Susan A. Radway Ed.D., Executive Director:

Ms. Radway supports H.B. 7155 due to her belief that it would properly compensate early education teachers.

Ellen Reardon:

Ms. Reardon supports H.B. 7155 due to her belief that the creation of a compensation calendar would increase the wages of early education teachers.

Ray Rossomando, Connecticut Education Association CEA:

Mr. Rossomando supports H.B. 7155 due to the fact that it would increase the wages received by early childhood teachers. Additionally, the CEA suggested that an increase in the wages of early childhood teachers would diminish the low amount of teachers in the early education workplace.

Sheryl Skidd:

Ms. Skidd supports H.B. 7155 due to her belief that the bill would properly compensate early childhood education teachers which, she believes, would improve the early childhood education system.

Bette Stano:

Ms. Stano supports H.B. 7155 due to her belief that the bill would make up for the cuts made to Care4Kids and would result in an enhanced early childhood education system.

Carol Smith, Director of the Margaret C. Griffin Child Development Center of Southington, Inc:

Ms. Smith supports H.B. 7155 due to her belief that the bill would improve current early education system.

Linda Afrazi:

Ms. Afrazi, a veteran teacher, expressed support for H.B. 7155 stating that the low wages of early childhood teachers does not keep up with the inflation rate. Linda also asserted that teachers do not make enough money to create a retirement plan or 401(k).

Delean K. Goldsmith, Torrington Child Care Center:

Ms. Goldsmith supports H.B. 7155 on the grounds that it would aid the early childhood education system in Connecticut.

Merrill Gay, Executive Director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance:

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance expressed support for H.B. 7155. The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance stated that H.B. 7155 will properly compensate early childhood education teachers. The Alliance stated that a majority of the early childhood education teachers eventually leave their jobs in order to obtain better-paying jobs teaching higher levels of education. The Alliance stated that if H.B. 7155 is implemented, early childhood teachers will stay in their jobs, thus assuring that quality education is continually being delivered to young children.

Elizabeth A. Aschenbrenner:

Ms. Aschenbrenner supports H.B. 7155, and stated that the bill will allow qualified early childhood teachers to remain in their jobs for longer.

Paige M Bray, EdD, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education

Director of Early Childhood Education and Montessori Concentration Programs

University of Hartford:

Dr. Bray supports H.B. 7155 as she believes it will address the low wages seen in the profession of early childhood education.

Mary Cecchinato, Director of the Torrington Child Care Center Inc:

Ms. Cecchinato supports H.B. 7155 as the bill will result in an improvement of the early childhood education system in Connecticut.

Leanne Couture:

Ms. Couture supports H.B. 7155 on the grounds that it would increase compensation of early childhood teachers. Furthermore, she stated that teachers who possess master's degrees should be compensated for having an advanced degree.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Michele Eathorne, Director of Curriculum and Communication at the YWCA New Britain school-readiness childcare program:

Ms. Eathorne expressed concern regarding the effects of H.B. 7155. Specifically, Ms. Eathorne stated that the cuts made to School Readiness funds and Care for Kids program could impact fair wages for early childhood teachers.

Eileen Costello:

Ms. Costello expressed opposition to the compensation scale featured in H.B. 7155. Eileen stated that the implementation of a compensation scale will likely add to the frustration felt in the early childhood education workforce. Conclusively, Eilieen suggested that the committee “look at ways to adequately fund programs and compensate them for the true cost of care”.

Reported by: Chris Burr

3/30/2017