MassBudget: The Effectiveness and Cost of Expanding Vocational Education
Report examines different models and future costs
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
Report Explores the Effectiveness and Costs of Expanding Access to Vocational Education in Massachusetts
With demand increasing at many vocational programs, MassBudget's new report, Skills for Our Future: Vocational Education in Massachusetts examines the effectiveness of different models of high school vocational programs and the costs of providing access for students currently on waiting lists.
Massachusetts has seen an increase in career, vocational, and technical education program enrollment since 2005, from 14 percent of the student population to 17 percent today. Research has shown that participants in certain programs had 11 percent higher annual earnings on average than comparable students after they participated in this training.
The report outlines three models currently in place -- vocational programs within traditional high schools, regional vocational schools, and in-district vocational schools -- and studies showing the elements necessary for success with each model.
There are currently 3,200 students on waitlists for vocational education programs and unmet demand for these programs is especially pronounced in the state's Gateway Cities.
To fulfill the unmet demand for vocational programs across the state, MassBudget estimates a cost of at least $27 million annually, approximately $5,000 per pupil in ongoing operating costs. This figure does not include capital costs for building new schools or the significant transition costs that are often involved as students move between programs. New programs in fields such as manufacturing, moreover, require significant updating of facilities to be successful.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108
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