Moving Forward with Funding

New strategies to support transportation and balanced regional economic growth

Difficult economic times have created a host of challenges for Massachusetts. Among them, the financial shortfalls of the state’s transportation agencies place high on the list. The MBTA is considering fare hikes and service cuts; even with these actions, real questions remain about how the agency will close gaps and keep the aging system operating read more
Going for Growth: New Education-Housing Partnerships to Stabilize Families and Boost Student Achievement, the fourth brief in a series exploring policy innovations to spur reinvestment and renewal in the state’s key regional cities. Extensive research documents the negative consequences that student mobility – the churn of youth entering and exiting classrooms during the school year read more

The 80 Percent Challenge

A Survey of Climate Change Opinion and Action in Massachusetts

This report, made possible with generous support from the Barr Foundation, represents the first in-depth look at how Massachusetts residents perceive the problem posed by global warming, as well as their willingness to embrace efforts to address this unprecedented challenge. With the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, Massachusetts became one of the first states read more

Next stop, Massachusetts

Strategies to Build the Bay State’s Transportation Future and Keep our Economy Moving

Building from discussions at May’s National Transit Summit, a new strategy paper, Next Stop, Massachusetts  focuses on state transportation policies fundamental to the Commonwealth’s long-term economic competitiveness. Despite years of independent reports sounding the alarm, the state’s inadequate transportation finances continue to place this critical infrastructure in jeopardy. This stubborn challenge persists because transportation lacks read more
Topic(s): Transportation

Going for Growth

Promoting Access to Wealth Building Financial Services in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

This paper examines the market for personal financial services and finds that many Gateway City residents do not have bank accounts, which leaves them dependent on high-cost services like check cashers. Without bank accounts, families have difficulty developing the credit history needed to qualify for low-interest loans. They turn instead to pawnshops, rent-to-own stores, and read more

Planning for College

A Consumer Approach to the Higher Education Marketplace

The place of college in the lives of current and future generations of American families has fun­damentally changed. Once the privilege of a few, college is now a virtual prerequisite for joining and remaining in the ranks of the middle class. This economic reality means more students con­tinue their education beyond high school each year. read more

Going for Growth

Promoting Residential Reinvestment in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

Promoting Residential Reinvestment in Massachusetts Gateway Cities, the second brief in a series exploring evidence-based policy innovations to spur reinvestment and renewal in the state’s key regional cities. This paper examines state housing spending over the last 15 years and finds that programs designed primarily to increase affordability in strong markets have not been able read more

Building for the Future

Foundations for a Springfield Comprehensive Growth Strategy

Springfield has enormous assets, but like other midsize cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest, it struggles to get past decades of disinvestment brought on by manufacturing decline and residential disinvestment. To rebuild and reposition for the knowledge economy, communities like Springfield need long-term strategies – plans that address challenges and leverage opportunities by channeling resources read more

Incomplete Grade

Massachusetts Education Reform at 15

In a world defined by rapid change and increasing global competition, education must be a top priority for Massachusetts and the nation. Fifteen years ago, Massachusetts made a bold commitment to raise the educational standards of all children in Massachusetts with the passage of the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA). Since then, the state read more

Capital Gains

Avoiding Harm to the State Budget

Governor Deval Patrick recently took dramatic action to repair a $1.4 billion deficit in the state budget, a hole that is roughly the size of the state’s annual spending on higher education. The plan to fill the gap includes $1 billion in spending cuts and the layoff of 1,000 employees. The need to act has read more

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