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Katy Chapman

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida
Chapter Member: Florida SSN
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About Katy

Dr. Chapman's research focuses on the intersection of policy, leadership, and financial investments to address inequities across early childhood systems. She has been involved in several research projects that developed her interests in the following areas: the early childhood workforce, educational leadership preparation in early childhood education, and continuity of care for young children at times of external shocks. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Dr. Chapman was a Kindergarten and Preschool teacher in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Arizona, and she worked as a Confidential Assistant with the Early Learning Team in the Office of the Secretary at the United States Department of Education.


"Underpaid but Choosing to Stay: Compensation Inequity in Kentucky Public Preschool" (with Victoria Sherif and Beth Rous). Journal of Education Human Resources 41, no. 1 (2023): 50-73.

Presents findings on compensation inequity for teachers and teaching assistants working with children aged three to five years in public preschool programs. Notes that preschool educators play a crucial role in supporting children's development, yet they face underpayment and heavier workloads compared to their counterparts in elementary and secondary education, with some having to work secondary jobs. Despite the wage gap, teaching preschool was a career choice for most respondents.

"Poor Kids Versus Bad Teachers: Vergara v. California and the Social Construction of Teachers." (with Jeanne M. Powers). Teachers College Record 123, no. 4 (2021).

Discusses the Vergara v. California case, which challenged California state statutes protecting teachers' employment. Analyzes how Vergara was portrayed in print news media, given its impact on public perception of education policy debates. Findings reveal that media coverage often portrayed teachers negatively and used metaphors and political spectacle to support the plaintiffs' claims. Notes that despite significant attention and resources devoted to Vergara, it did not lead to changes in California's teacher employment policies. However, it likely influenced public perceptions of teachers and their working conditions.

"Education Through TIME: Representations of U.S. Education on TIME Magazine Covers" (with Dani Kachorsky and Stephanie F. Reid). AERA Open 6, no. 3 (2020).

Examines how TIME Magazine has visually represented and communicated ideas about education from its inception in 1923 through 2019. Findings suggest that TIME Magazine often uses names and places to imply authority in education, presents learning and schooling as unchanging, relies on generalized representations for education stakeholders, depicts schools as needing improvement, and views schools as venues for broader sociopolitical discussions.

"Early Childhood Education and Child Care in Arizona: Is Availability Alone Sufficient?" (with Margarita Pivovarova). Emerging Voices in Education 2, no. 1 (2020): 8-21.

Explores the value of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) when they are provided for families at the household level. Findings reveal that high-quality programs are available for Hispanic, Black, and economically disadvantaged children, yet these programs are underutilized by families. Argues that this underutilization may be due to a variety of barriers that the families are experiencing and suggests that efforts should be directed to work with families and assist them in understanding their enrollment options.

"Opting Out in the Empire State: A Geographic Analysis of Opting Out in New York, Spring 2015 & 2016" (with Lydia Ross and Sherman Dorn). Teachers College Record 122, no. 2 (2020): 1-24.

Explores the geographical patterns of opting out from state assessments in school districts in New York State. Findings indicate that population density, proportion of students with disabilities, and district-level child poverty were associated with opting out behavior, with variations across different regions of New York State. Suggests that while long-distance networks may facilitate organizing efforts, local networks still play a crucial role in shaping educational movements.

"Pennies for Pre-schoolers: The Role of Foundations in Pre-school Programs, Policies, and Research," Arizona State University, June 2019.

Investigates the investments made by philanthropic foundations in early childhood programs, policies, and research in the United States. Reveals that each foundation included in the study independently determines its investment strategies and allocates varying amounts of funding to early childhood. Additionally, foundations leverage funds and form partnerships to gain programmatic and legislative influence. Emphasizes that given the increasing inclusion of early childhood programs in education systems and decreasing public funding, understanding philanthropic support for early childhood education is crucial for local and national contexts.