This report examines progress and obstacles on the path to creating a Commonwealth where all people of every race and background have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Expanding access to affordable higher education would directly help tens of thousands of students in Massachusetts, and their families. In addition to giving more of our young people the opportunity to go to college, over the long term expanding access to quality, affordable, higher education would increase the productivity of our workforce and the strength of our state economy. This paper examines options for making public higher education more affordable in Massachusetts, including making it possible for young people to graduate from college debt free.
Massachusetts schools are phasing-in a set of improvements to their school meals programs. These changes help ensure that more kids eat healthy meals every day they’re learning at school, and yet, for technical reasons, they have forced the state to consider some changes to how it distributes school funding. This FAQ explains these issues, with a focus on how they affect our Chapter 70 education aid formula.
Children have a better chance to succeed in school when they receive individualized support and attention. Smaller class sizes are one way to help our teachers meet the needs of each child. This paper examines the evidence on how class size reductions can improve outcomes and expand opportunity for all of our children, particularly those who face the greatest obstacles.
Maintenance budgets are estimates of what it would take for the state to maintain services at the same level as prior years. These budgets are also often called current services baselines, as they allow comparison of budget proposals to the baseline of what is currently provided. Maintenance budgets are the first step in our state’s budget process, but they are rarely made public in a standard way.
Increased learning time can be an effective tool for providing more of our young people with improved, more well-rounded education – but only if it’s done right. This paper examines which strategies have proven most effective in implementing longer school days, quality after school services, and summer learning opportunities. The report also estimates what it costs to provide a few model programs.
To help children overcome non-academic barriers to success, a number of districts across the country have implemented wraparound services in their schools. Recent research shows that these programs can improve both the academic and life success of the students who are served. This report examines evidence on the effectiveness of these programs, describes progress being made in Massachusetts, and estimates costs for implementing evidence-based practices more widely.