20,000 preschool teachers just got offered a free education

Ingrid Henlon is passionate about her job as a preschool teacher in Hartford, Conn., showing up at 7:30 a.m. each day to greet (sometimes crying students) and staying late when necessary to meet with parents. Despite that devotion, Henlon, 48, has to take a second job to make ends meet.

It is an unfortunate conundrum for those like Henlon who are working in early childhood education: Parents pay a lot, teachers get paid little.

“To be honest, at this moment, I’m not even managing, it’s like paycheck to paycheck,” she said. In addition to making car and rent payments on her roughly $42,000 salary, Henlon has more than $6,000 in student debt, that “doesn’t seem like it will ever finish.

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