Breen bill to support early childhood educators fails override vote in the House
AUGUSTA — On Monday, the governor’s veto of a bill Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, to provide child care providers and preschool teachers with the resources and support children struggling with challenging behaviors was overridden in the Senate but failed to receive the necessary two-thirds vote in the House. The final vote was 30-4 in the Senate and 83-60.
“This bill would have made sure more Maine teachers had the resources to prepare Maine’s young children with the skills needed to succeed in school, workforce and life,” said Sen. Breen. “This bill was supported by research, data and the hard work of stakeholders from all across the state. I am disappointed that my colleagues could not come together and support this bill.”
LD 1321, “An Act to Promote Social and Emotional Learning and Development in Early Childhood,” creates the Early Childhood Consultation Program pilot project, training a group of behavior experts available to assist teachers, child care providers and preschools with these issues before they result in expulsion. Requests for consultation are entirely voluntary and are designed to help keep children in a learning environment.
Data shows that more and more children are coming to preschool with persistent challenging behaviors that prevent them from fully participating in their education. More than half of preschool teachers report that their classrooms have been negatively impacted by a student’s challenging behavior.
The bill received support during its public hearing from the Maine Children’s Growth Council, Maine Children’s Alliance, Bath Police Chief Michael Field, the Maine Education Association, Maine School Management Association, the United Way of Midcoast Maine and many others.