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Governor's Plan will Extend Aid to Early Childhood Education Students

By Annette Jacques
On April 1, 2013

At the beginning of the year, Governor Patrick set forth with a plan to provide universal access to high quality early education for children across the state, from birth through age five, by eliminating wait lists for children in need. The plan will fully fund K-12 education and allow for extended school days in high-need schools, and make college more affordable and accessible for high school graduates. On the college level, he intends to allot more money for financial aid to college students in Early Child Care programs. One way this will happen is through significantly increasing funding to the MASSGrant program, which provides financial assistance for students demonstrating the greatest need. MASSGrant currently provides grants to Massasoit students; however, the amount of the grants will increase under Governor Patrick's new plan, as well as be available to a wider range of Early Child Care Education students. Also part of the governor's plan is to continue and expand the support given to college students by the state. He tends to further Massachusetts' support in funding at least 50% of the educational costs of Early Child Care Education programs at The University of Massachusetts, state universities such as Bridgewater State College, and community colleges such as Massasoit Community College.

The Governor's proposal includes $274 million ($152 million in 2014) to make college more affordable and accessible, particularly for lower- and middle-income students. The plan will also provide annual increases for community college funding, totaling $20 million in 2014. When asked about his new plans, and his hopes for the future economy of the state of Massachusetts, Governor Patrick stated that his plan would not only benefit children and students, but society as a whole. In a January interview he stated, "This is about creating opportunity and economic growth. After twenty years of good work and experience at reforming education, we know what works. If we are going to accelerate our growth and create opportunity, we must invest. This is not only about the students' social and economic future - it is about ours."

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