Let’s Not Lose the Best!

Equal Pay for NYC Early Childhood Educators

Salary Parity City Hall 002
(l to r) Council Members Stephen Levin and Danny Dromm (who was a former daycare center teacher and director) on the steps of City Hall advocate for Salary Parity for NYC early childhood educators.

Did you know that providers of high-quality education to low-income children earn far less than those at DOE programs.  To get the word out elected officials and 150 advocates called for salary parity for NYC early childhood educators on the steps of City Hall.

CBO-based educators, who serve children in some of NYC’s most vulnerable communities, have gone a decade without a raise, and many are forced to rely on public assistance to survive. A certified teacher with five years of experience in a community based organization contracted by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) makes about $17K less than a public school teacher with the same credentials and experience, for those with ten years of experience the gap widens to $34K.

If you wonder whether the quality of education is a factor here, it is but not in the opposite way one would think. Gregory Brender, co-director of Policy & Advocacy at United Neighborhood Houses, unleashed a new report, titled “Losing the Best,” which was developed by his organization and the Campaign for Children. This report uses the City’s own Pre-K program assessment from December 2015 to determine that community based organizations outperform public schools in nine out of ten metrics that indicate high-quality programs. Language reasoning, program structure, classroom organization, and institutional support were among the areas where CBO-based programs exceeded.

Council Member Stephen Levin urged Mayor de Blasio to, “take swift action to ensure salary parity and comparable benefits for all of the dedicated public servants working in early childhood education. This common sense step will make it easier for programs to attract and retain the outstanding educators we need and ultimately lead to better programs for our children.”

Public Advocate Letitia James mentioned her repeated attempts to call this issue to the de Blasio administration’s attention. She also stated, “Such a pay disparity creates systemic inequality that leaves New York’s poorest preschoolers with the lowest paid child care workers and prevents these care takers from affording basic life necessities.”


Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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