Sixty-two percent of Head Start teachers nationwide now hold a bachelor’s degree, surpassing a federal guideline calling for at least half of the teachers to hold the advanced degree by this fall, according to a brief by the New America Foundation released earlier this month.

In California, only 48 percent of Head Start teachers have met that bar, according to the California Head Start Association.

The 2007 Head Start Act says at least half of the country’s Head Start teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree by Sept. 30, 2013. There is no penalty for individual states or providers that have not met the federal requirement. Still, a significantly larger percentage of teachers in California have earned bachelor’s degrees since the new requirement was first issued, as EdSource has reported. Only 27 percent of Head Start teachers in the state held bachelor’s degrees in 2007-2008.

The New America Foundation brief also addresses the question of whether the rise in the number of Head Start teachers holding bachelor’s degrees has contributed to the rising per-child cost of Head Start in recent years.

Read the complete New America Foundation brief.



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