What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• In this Chalk Beat story, Sarah Mosle highlights the pay disparity between preschool teachers at public schools and CBOs in New York City.
• The most obvious solution to the problem described by Mosle and Entrieri is to pay preschool teachers more. Finding the money to do so is more complicated. Is there a sustainable model for free pre-K?
• New York City's universal pre-K program is ambitious and progressive, but has also sparked great concern among teachers and parents. To learn about how Chicago may be facing similar problems, click here.
[Tara Entrieri] is ... a lead teacher, overseeing a classroom of 4-year-olds at [a Staten Island] community-based organization.
[New York] relies heavily on CBOs such as Entrieri’s to provide 60% of the city’s preschool seats. The remainder are in public schools, where teachers are covered by the United Federation of Teachers’ contract.
Many CBO preschool teachers such as Entrieri aren’t unionized, and salaries can start as low as $42,000, compared to $59,000 for UFT teachers doing the same work. As a result, CBOs struggle to attract and retain talent, and the teacher turnover can be hard on children acclimating to a classroom setting for the first time, center operators say.
“My job is not babysitting,” Entrieri said. Instead, she said, her job is relentlessly demanding and critically important, requiring her to juggle everything from teaching basic skills like recognizing letters and their sounds and helping students grapple with strong emotions and manage mealtimes.
Entrieri loves her job. But the process of becoming a teacher, she says, has left her with mountains of debt. And because her job doesn’t offer benefits, she is living paycheck-to-paycheck, forced to make tough choices about whether to pay back her student loans or purchase health insurance.
“I don’t want any more than other pre-K teachers in public schools,” she said, wanting only what’s fair — equal pay for equal work and “to be respected like any other teacher.”
Read the full article about pre-K teacher pay by Sara Mosle at Chalkbeat