(FreedomBeacon.com)- House Democrats are trying to sneak in an odd provision into their massive social spending and infrastructure bills.
The provision would require any teacher who works for a school that would be funded by the bill’s universal pre-K plan to have a college degree. Any teacher at one of these schools would need to hold a degree in childhood education or a “related field,” as the bill says.
People who are in favor of the policy argue that requiring teachers at preschools to have a four-year college degree would in turn increase the overall quality of education that preschool students would get, while also increasing the pay the teachers receive.
A 2018 report conducted by an educational outlet called “74 Million” found that at least 21 states already require teachers at preschools to have a degree from college. Among those that do require it are New York, Texas, Illinois, Georgia and Washington, D.C.
States that don’t require the college degrees for preschool teachers are Massachusetts, California, Virginia and Florida — among others.
Nothing is set in stone with the policy at this point, since Democrats haven’t even come to an agreement within their own party as to what will and won’t be in the final plan. As such, there’s still a chance the language of the bill could be changed substantially before it’s officially introduced.
Many conservative policy experts who focus on education say the requirement would increase the cost of preschool substantially. In addition, it would place an onerous requirement on teachers, while not resulting in a significant benefit for students.
Max Eden, who works for the American Enterprise Institute, termed it a “regressive policy.” He added that there’s “no evidence to support this will help with student outcomes.”
Instead, it will “price out a number of women from the workforce who are just trying to provide for their families,” he said.
There’s evidence that policies like this have negative outcomes, too. As Eden said, preschools in Washington, D.C. — where the requirement is already in place — has seen increased costs for administering preschool in recent years.
Eden isn’t alone in his opinion, either. The Heritage Foundation’s director of the center for education policy, Lindsey Burke, said the proposal is a “gift to the colleges of education, which would see an influx of individuals who would now need bachelor’s degrees to be preschool teachers, even though the job requirement hasn’t changed.”
“Requiring BAs for preschool teachers would dramatically increase the cost of preschool, create barriers to entry into the profession, and would not improve the quality of early education and care. There is no evidence that formal education beyond a high school diploma makes someone a better caretaker. And similar bachelor’s degree requirements in Washington, D.C., are part of the reason why it is now the most expensive area for infant care in the country.”