Education and Workforce Development

July 7, 2017
In the early hours of the morning on July 4th, Maine Lawmakers enacted a two year budget that repealed the voter approved three percent surcharge on household income over $200,000 and gave a massive tax cut to the top two percent of households. This is the third biennial budget in eight years that contained tax breaks for the wealthiest Mainers. The top five percent of Mainers now pay the lowest effective tax rate on average compared to all other income groups. These tax breaks for the wealthiest come at a cost to investments in thriving communities and worsen income inequality.

Education and Workforce DevelopmentMaine is renowned for the productivity and strong work ethic of its labor force. To find and advance in well-paying jobs, Mainers must have a good education, preferably including college or other post-secondary degrees and certifications. In order to grow and compete in the national and global economies, Maine businesses need workers with the training and skills of the 21st century. MECEP research and analysis assist policymakers in assessing the effectiveness of specific programs and determining budget priorities. We also strive to identify policies that will make post-secondary education and job training more affordable and enable those seeking to advance their education to overcome obstacles like the cost of child care.

Most Recent
September 5, 2017
When contrasted with the tax breaks the top 2 percent of Mainers will enjoy over the next two years, the increased school funding looks like less of a victory for schools and more like a consolation prize.
July 7, 2017
In the early hours of the morning on July 4th, Maine Lawmakers enacted a two year budget that repealed the voter approved three percent surcharge on household income over $200,000 and gave a massive tax cut to the top two percent of households. This is the third biennial budget in eight years that contained tax breaks for the wealthiest Mainers. The top five percent of Mainers now pay the lowest effective tax rate on average compared to all other income groups. These tax breaks for the wealthiest come at a cost to investments in thriving communities and worsen income inequality.
June 29, 2017
James Myall A vibrant economy that works for everyone needs strong public services, and above all, good schools. And that requires everyone to pay their fair share towards those services.
June 23, 2017
Jody Harris A new report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlights another way that the very companies that are supposed to be helping Maine student loan borrowers are cheating them. 
June 22, 2017
Sarah Austin is a policy analyst with the Maine Center for Economic Policy. The head of the group helped write the ballot question that imposed the surcharge. 
June 1, 2017
Sarah Austin Maine voters asked legislators to tax the wealthiest 2% of Maine households to fully fund education in the state. Now, Republican lawmakers are trying to weaken our commitment to local schools so they can overturn the will of Maine voters, give tax cuts to the wealthiest families, and shortchange Maine schools.   
May 13, 2017
“Federal student loan borrowers can exercise an array of options from income-driven repayment plans to discharges for disability. Unfortunately, the worst student loan servicers purposely fail to advise borrowers of these options instead keeping their customers in high-cost payment plans on which they are doomed to default.
May 10, 2017
We need to ensure that the benefits of immigration are available to all parts of Maine. It’s fair to acknowledge that many Maine towns just lack the resources to easily support translators, adult education classes, or career navigators.