New York, NY — On Thursday, June 6, members of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus gathered alongside educators, advocates, and allies to demand salary parity in the city budget. Equitable pay for early childhood educators, who are primarily women of color, is a key issue for the Progressive Caucus for the fiscal year 2020 budget.

On the steps of Tweed Courthouse, Progressive Caucus Members Helen Rosenthal, Antonio Reynoso, and Ben Kallos called for “equal pay for equal work.” There is currently a massive pay disparity between the staff at CBOs that provide early childhood education programs and their counterparts at the Department of Education. Teachers at community programs earn up to 40% less than their peers at the DOE. Many staff members must depend on food stamps and Medicaid because of low pay. NYC’s educators deserve to be paid fairly for their work. Until they make a fair wage, a sustainable, high-quality early education system will not be possible.

“As we fight for salary parity across our society, that same sense of fairness must apply to New York City’s early childhood education teachers. Whether they work for the Department of Education or a community-based organization, early childhood teachers are performing the same vital function and are being paid with public dollars. This administration has made a tremendous effort to ensure that every young child has access to quality education precisely because it helps to eliminate social disparities later in life. In that same spirit, we can and should address teacher salary inequities now,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan), Member of the Progressive Caucus.

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