Governor Baker with students at the John D. O’Bryant School in Roxbury.
This spring, the Baker-Polito Administration toured elementary, vocational technical and early education schools around the state to highlight what makes a Massachusetts education great. In addition, Governor Charlie Baker announced new programs aimed at college affordability and completion.
Stops along the tour included the Forest Park Middle School in Springfield (May 16); the Bentley Elementary School in Salem (May 24) and the Head Start program and childcare center at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.(GLCAC) (May 24); and Leominister High School (May 31) and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fitchburg (June 15).
After the Montachusett school visit, Governor Baker released a video capturing moments from the statewide education tour.
“Our administration is proud of the hard work invested in learning and skill building throughout the system,” said Governor Baker. “We will continue to focus on opportunities, from early education to affordable college tuition rates, to strengthen every community and provide a bright future for our students.”
On May 22, Governor Baker announced the expansion of a dual enrollment program between Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science in Roxbury. College officials pledged to fully-fund financial aid needs for qualified students from the John D. O’Bryant High School who are enrolled in the dual enrollment program and admitted to the Academy.
On May 30, Governor Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the creation of The Boston Bridge, a tuition-free pilot program for 2017 high school graduates who live in the City of Boston. The goal of the historic partnership is to eliminate financial barriers that prevent low-income students from going to college full-time, in order to boost college completion rates.
“Boston Bridge is not just about access to college; it’s not just about low-cost or affordable college. It’s about college success and completion. This is about encouraging students and providing incentives for students to go to school full-time and complete on time,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.
On June 2, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Secretary Peyser, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II in announcing $2.2 million in Skills Capital Grants to 10 vocational high schools. Since creating the grants last year, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $26.4 million in Skills Capital Grants to schools that partner with local businesses to align curriculum and credentials with businesses’ demand to maximize hiring opportunities.
Since taking office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has proposed increasing spending on all K-12 schools by more than $318 million.