Gateway City Update

Issue September 2012 By Tricia M. Oliver

Sec. of Education announces key programs to educate Gateway Cities' youth

One of MBA immediate past President Richard P. Campbell's objectives for the 2011-12 association year was involving the Massachusetts Bar Association as part of conversations related to the commonwealth's Gateway Cities -- those mid-sized cities whose residents are experiencing significantly higher rates of unemployment and a stalemate in social, economic and civic innovation. A recurring theme at two forums hosted by the MBA on this topic was the need to close the education gap in those communities.

Last month, in a letter from Secretary of Education Paul Reville, Campbell was informed that the FY13 state budget provides the support necessary to implement two components of the state's Gateway Cities Education Agenda: $3 million to support enrichment academies for English language learners and $500,000 to establish Career Academies.

Writes Reville, "This funding will give educators and other stakeholders in our Gateway Cities an important opportunity to enhance existing efforts, implement new strategies, and strengthen partnerships across communities. These grant programs, coupled with ongoing initiatives of the Patrick- Murray Administration, represent another step forward for Massachusetts."

In addition, MassINC, an entity that has conducted extensive research on these communities over the years, recently issued its latest report on this issue -- "Building Vibrancy: Creative Placemaking Strategies for Gateway City Growth and Renewal."