May 26, 2009
"Overcoming Persistent Inequalities: Educational Disparities among Women in Massachusetts," a new policy brief authored by Erika Kates, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), was released at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, May 26th. Pat Jehlen, State Senator, 2nd Middlesex District, and Alice Wolf, State Representative, 25th Middlesex District, co-chairs of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, and James Eldridge, State Senator, Middlesex and Worcester Districts, joined Kates in releasing the brief.
"Certainly, we recognize the deep concern that policy makers have at this time about the state budget as well as the state’s economic future," Kates stated prior to the event. "Given the current economic climate our strategic approach is to maximize existing resources, leverage potential resource, and ensure the efficiency of all resources. Thus, the recommendations include reducing bureaucratic hindrances within welfare and workforce development agencies; expanding information about existing resources; taking advantage of increased federal resources like increased Pell grants; and collecting data to monitor the effects and inform future policy more effectively," she explains.
"In the current economic climate I’ve noticed a greater willingness among policymakers to take a longer term approach to addressing these problems and to perceive education as a critical social capital asset. Educated people become more civically engaged," she reported. "They pay more taxes, vote more frequently, are healthier, and raise children who aspire to an education."
Ruthie Liberman, Vice President for Public Policy, Crittenton Women’s Union, and Tami Ohler, Research Analyst, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, will offer commentaries before questions/discussions with participants and invited guests during the policy brief release.
The release is available online.