Policy Agenda: Education and Workforce
Massachusetts’s highly-talented workforce continues to a be a source of strength in the national and global competition for economic development, jobs and investment. Employers, however, continue to struggle with an inadequate supply of workers who possess the skills needed for many positions.
By addressing this misalignment and closing gaps between workforce demands and the supply of qualified workers, Massachusetts can expand the availability of opportunities for all Massachusetts residents and help ensure that our private sector economy continues to thrive.
The continued improvement of Massachusetts’ public schools is one of most important opportunities and challenges we face in our efforts to meet this economic need and address important social challenges faced by the Commonwealth. Specifically, Massachusetts must maintain and enhance the quality achieved by many public school districts, while redoubling efforts to close and eliminate persistent achievement gaps that cause too many school children to be ill-prepared for employment in the 21st century economy.
Key Data and Metrics
- Massachusetts ranks first in the Talent Index component of the Massachusetts, Technology Talent and Economic Reporting System (Source: MATTERS)
- The percentage of the Massachusetts workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher is the highest in the nation. (Source: MATTERS/NSF)
- Technology employment as a percentage of overall employment in Massachusetts is the 6th highest in the country. (Source: MATTERS/NSF)
The Mass High Tech Council supports education policies that (1) balance appropriate state financial support with high standards of accountability for students, teachers and administrators and (2) ensure that all public school students and parents have access to innovative and high performing schools.
Specifically, the Council supports the changes to state education laws and Foundation Budget funding included in Governor Baker’s proposed FY20 budget recommendation which would:
- Maintain and modernize the Commonwealth’s financial commitment and support to public schools and students.
- Update state aid funding formulas to reflect 2019 circumstances and costs including:
- Persistent achievement and opportunity gaps between schools and students in higher-income and lower-income communities
- Higher costs borne by local school districts for healthcare and special education.
- Commit to a multi-year, $1.1 billion investment that:
- Is sustainable within existing state and local resources
- Addresses known cost deficiencies
- Targets more money towards the highest need children and schools
- Strengthens state-local partnerships to close opportunity and achievement gaps
- Ensures appropriate state oversight and authority to enable improvement in underperforming schools