Accurately counting low-income and English Language Learner students, who are more likely to require a diverse array of academic and social resources to succeed in school, is important to ensure that school districts receive the funding necessary to support all of their students. Communities with large numbers of immigrants are often disproportionately affected by the challenges of obtaining an accurate count of low-income students.
Massachusetts benefits when all our children receive quality educational experiences in school that allow them to lead successful, fulfilling, and productive lives. Creating an education system where all students can reach success plays a significant role in creating a vibrant democracy and strong economy. Despite the significant progress in the Commonwealth driven by the landmark Education Reform Act of 1993, the success of Massachusetts schools has not reached all our children.
As Massachusetts considers several proposals to make college tuition-and-fee-free or debt-free, this paper looks at how different design elements of such a guarantee could affect access and affordability for students from less wealthy families, students of color, and immigrant students in Massachusetts.
Organized as a series of charts, this paper details major trends since Fiscal Year 2001 in state support for our public colleges and universities in Massachusetts, and how those changes have led to sharply increasing costs for students and families, which they pay for with increasing amounts of debt. On several measures we compare Massachusetts to other states.
A ballot question has been proposed that would support investments in education and transportation with revenue from an additional 4% tax on income over a million dollars a year. This factsheet examines this proposal and how it relates to longer term economic and policy trends in Massachusetts.