June 18, 2024

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Head Start preschools aim to fight poverty, but their teachers struggle to make ends meet

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In some ways, Doris Milton is a Head Start success story. She was a student in one of Chicago’s inaugural Head Start classes, when the antipoverty program, which aimed to help children succeed by providing them a first-rate preschool education, was in its infancy.

Milton loved her teacher so much that she decided to follow in her footsteps. She now works as a Head Start teacher in Chicago.

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After four decades on the job, Milton, 63, earns $22.18 an hour. Her pay puts her above the poverty line, but she is far from financially secure. She needs a dental procedure she cannot afford, and she is paying down $65,000 of student loan debt from National Louis University, where she came within two classes of getting her bachelor’s degree. She dropped out in 2019 when she fell ill.

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The Associated Press

2024-03-03 00:10:01

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