NIEER Policy Brief (Issue 4, September 2003)
What will it cost to give Head Start the tools it needs to succeed? It will take an investment in teachers. A fully certified teacher in every Head Start classroom stands as the single most effective policy change that would radically improve the success of Head Start. Yet current Head Start funding would not allow that. As the Head Start Reauthorization continues to be debated it is appropriate to look at the funding levels needed to do just that. This brief includes current information on the qualifications and compensation of Head Start teachers, discusses the issues surrounding the push towards raising both, and presents the estimated cost of placing a highly qualified teacher in every Head Start classroom, phased in over eight years.