Penn State’s actions speak louder than its words, and certainly louder than ridiculous branding slogans generated by expensive public relations firms.
By including child care teachers as Penn State employees, with all the benefits that confers, the university communicates the message that it values early-education teachers and the children in their care.
It tells the world that Penn State values early education as a profession and a vocation. It tells graduates of Penn State in early education and human development that their degrees are worthwhile and can lead to jobs with respectable compensation.
By outsourcing these employees to a private contractor at reduced compensation, Penn State announces that it sees early-education teachers as dispensable. It tells graduates of Penn State’s programs in these fields that they will not get good jobs or earn enough money to pay for their degrees.
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It communicates a profound disregard for the well-being of children.
No one will believe administrators’ claims to be “dedicated to the development and learning of each child” unless they can back them with the commitment to keeping teachers on as Penn State employees.