BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley is campaigning again today on her empty promise of universal pre-K education even though she has admitted she does not know how much it will cost or how she will pay for it. Even more laughable, Coakley denies reports by The Boston Globe and State House News Service about a study completed by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center which pegged the cost of universal pre-K at $1.5 billion.
“It is dishonest to promise parents a service for their children when she doesn’t know how or even if she will be able to make that service a reality,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP chairman. “Coakley’s repeated denials of the findings of a legitimate study and subsequent media reports while refusing to give her own estimate of the cost is dishonest and proof that her pre-K pledge is just another empty promise from a career politician.”
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found universal pre-K education would cost $1.5 billion annually. “Assuming a per pupil foundation budget of $13,999 (current PK-12 actual per pupil spending), expanding full-day pre-kindergarten to these 105,500 kids would cost roughly $1.48 billion annually.” (Jeff Bernstein and Luc Schuster, “Building a Foundation for Success,” Mass Budget Policy Center, 4/7/14)
Coakley denies MBPC’s study and refuses to say how she would pay for universal pre-k. “Coakley wants new services such as an extended school day and universal prekindergarten but will not say how much those programs would cost or how to pay for them. … ‘We know there’s a price tag to it,’ she told reporters on Friday. ‘I can’t think of anything in Massachusetts that’s more important . . . We will find a way to pay for it.’” (Michael Levenson, “Baker, Coakley steer clear of far-reaching tax talk,” The Boston Globe, 9/15/14)